by Alam Zeb Safi
KARACHI: Punjab Football Association’s (PFA) president Sardar Naveed Haider on Tuesday claimed that Malik Dogar and Syed Zahir Shah have decided to field joint candidates in the forthcoming elections of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF).
“Both held a meeting in Islamabad today and it was decided that Malik and Zahir would work together and announce joint candidates for the various PFF slots, including the PFF presidency,” Naveed told ‘The News’ from Islamabad.
This correspondent tried to contact Zahir Shah but he did not receive calls. A source close to Zahir Shah confirmed that he had met Dogar in Islamabad on Tuesday. “Both have decided to work together for the betterment of football,” the source said.
Dogar, an MNA of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, had announced on Monday his candidacy for the top PFF position at a press briefing in Lahore.Dogar, PFA council member from Multan, then rushed to Islamabad Monday night to expedite his efforts to make a solid plan for winning the election.
Sources told this correspondent earlier on Tuesday that Dogar had established an election cell at his residence in Islamabad. Zahir Shah is the president of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Football Association and is interested in the fight for the PFF presidency.
The Returning Officer Mohammad Shoaib Shaheen is going to conduct the PFF elections in the second week of next month.The RO has asked the four provinces, departments and other units of the PFF Congress to send fresh nominations.
The last date for sending nominations for the PFF Congress is November 30. Dogar is the son of former PFF Congress member and senator late Salahuddin Dogar who belonged to Pakistan People’s Party.
A source close to Zahir Shah told this correspondent that Shah was busy contacting people. “He is working,” the source said.
The PFF Congress consists of 26 members. The four provinces have three votes each, while Islamabad, WAPDA, Railways, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Police, Higher Education Commission (HEC), Army, Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Navy, Pakistan Football Referees Association (PFRA) and champions women club (Army) have one vote each.
PFF Congress also has three women as its members who will be elected by the house before the PFF polls. Sindh Football Association (SFA) is scheduled to hold its council meeting here at its president Khadim Ali Shah’s residence on Wednesday (today) to discuss PFF elections, a source told this correspondent.
On Tuesday two vice-presidents of PFA and around a dozen council members met in Lahore and announced their support for PFF chief Faisal Saleh Hayat.