KARACHI: Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) President Faisal Saleh Hayat on Monday said that he was confident of his victory if elections of the federation were held under the PFF and FIFA rules.
“I think there is no issue if elections are held under PFF and FIFA rules. I have the majority in the PFF Congress,” Faisal told ‘The News’ in an interview.Punjab Football Association’s (PFA) President Sardar Naveed Haider seems to have developed differences with the PFF.
Naveed may face trouble as the PFA Executive Committee the other day announced its unconditional support to Faisal in the PFF elections.When asked if the government backed his rival group what his victory chances would be, Faisal said he still was confident. “I can still manage a win if elections are held fairly,” Faisal reiterated.
He feared if Pakistan faced FIFA sanctions once again the situation would be more alarming for the sport. “If fair elections were not held Pakistan might face FIFA sanctions, which would be disastrous for the sport and destroy the future of our youth,” Faisal said.
The Supreme Court announced in its November 14 verdict that the PFF elections would be held within one month. It appointed Pakistan Bar Council member Shoaib Shaheen as returning officer for the election.
FIFA had given PFF until March 2020 to revise its constitution and hold fresh elections.Besides Malik Amir Dogar, a PTI MNA from Multan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Football Association’s president Syed Zahir Shah are expected to contest the PFF elections against Faisal.
He said the federation had diverted a major chunk of its revenue towards players’ development. “Football suffered a lot during the last few years. We have started now vigorously, diverting our 75 percent revenue to the players’ development programmes,” Faisal said.
“Since resuming football activities this year, we have held around seven to eight domestic events and also managed participation of our various age-group teams of both men and women in eight international events,” the president said.
“Now Premier League is in progress. We want to make it more productive in future. It’s the main event which acts as players’ development tool,” Faisal said.He was happy with the way Pakistan offered resistance to Palestine in an international friendly held in Ramallah on November 16 which the Green-shirts lost 1-2.
“Palestine are a strong, well-prepared side with a decent world ranking. Putting them in trouble in the friendly is a positive sign for our football. We provided chances to Danish Superliga winger Adnan Mohammad and Canada-based Naveed Rehman, and both were impressive. I am happy that foreign-based players are also taking interest in representing Pakistan. We already have a bunch of solid foreign-based stuff and more are keen to join Pakistan team. It will create a competitive environment,” the PFF boss said.
He praised Brazilian coach and trainer for their excellent work.“Jose Antonio Nogueira and Portella have done a tremendous job. The coach is intelligent and the trainer has made the players much fitter,” Faisal said.
Besides increasing allowances of players, the PFF was also trying to give maximum exposure to the elite squad, he added. “Qatar has agreed to host us next month. We plan to manage matches against five nations who will be in Doha. A tournament is also in pipeline which will feature Pakistan, Afghanistan, Singapore, Philippines and Lebanon,” Faisal revealed.
“We will also send our team to Kabul to play against Afghanistan and Afghanistan will visit Pakistan,” the official said.“Next year we will feature in the South Asian Games, Olympic and World Cup qualifiers. So it’s going to be a busy season,” Faisal said.
Faisal said the PFF was also paying attention to women football development. “We have hired the services of a Brazilian female coach who will arrive in Pakistan soon. Pakistan women side will feature in the SAFF Cup in January,” the PFF chief said.
As both FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have announced substantial increase in the grants to its national associations, Faisal said it was opportune time to develop the game. “FIFA will give us 1.2 million dollars and AFC has also increased our grant to 700,000 dollars,” Faisal said.