KARACHI: Malik Amir Dogar, who wants to fight for the presidency of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), held a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Wednesday.
Dogar, a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MNA from Multan, apprised the PM about his intention to contest election for the presidential slot of the PFF.
“The PM was very happy to know that a true football enthusiast has decided to take up this challenge,” a press release issued by Dogar and his group said.
“The PM wished him well and told him that the government planned to enhance the standard of Pakistan’s sports,” the release added. Imran told Dogar that the new sports policy would secure future for sportsmen.
“On the request of Dogar the PM gave his consent to meet a football delegation comprising players, coaches, referees and officials so that the premier can get first hand information and input for the development of football in Pakistan,” the statement said.
The PM also assured Dogar that he would task the sports directorate to take steps to construct international standard football stadiums in all the major cities of the country.
The PM stressed the need to establish football academies and launch an extensive development programme at the grassroots level. Dogar requested the PM to approve the hiring of foreign coaches to train youth throughout Pakistan.
The PM asserted that all sports in Pakistan would soon have qualified professionals and that favouritism or nepotism would not be acceptable. On the request of Dogar, the PM agreed to invite the presidents of FIFA and AFC.
The PFF elections are expected to be held in Islamabad in the second week of next month. The elections will be conducted by Shoaib Shaheen, a senior lawyer who has been appointed by the Supreme Court as the Returning Officer.
During a meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday, Dogar and Syed Zahir Shah decided to field joint candidates in the PFF elections against the sitting PFF chief Faisal Saleh Hayat.
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that all sports federations in Pakistan would soon have qualified professionals and no more favoritism or nepotism would be acceptable.
The Prime Minister stated this while talking to Malik Amir Dogar, a Member of National Assembly from his Tehreek-i-Insaf party and a council member of the Punjab Football Association, who met and apprised him of his resolve to contest the Pakistan Football Federation presidential elections next month.
Dogar announced his candidacy earlier this week after the Supreme Court ordered fresh elections of the PFF that are hoped to end several years of crisis plaguing the country’s football governing body.
The Prime Minister wished Dogar well and assured that the government had very serious plans to uplift the standard of sports in Pakistan and would come up with a very progressive and effective policy to ensure that Pakistani sportsmen once again make a mark at international level.
The Prime Minister said that the new Sports Policy would ensure a secured future for players, coaches and officials.
On the request of Dogar, the Prime Minister agreed to meet a football delegation comprising of players, coaches, referees and officials so that he could get first-hand information and input for development of the game in Pakistan.
The Prime Minister assured Dogar that he would task the Sports Directorate to put immediate plans to construct international standard football stadiums in all the major cities of the country.
The prime minister stressed the need to set up football academies all over the country and launch an extensive grassroots development and grooming programme.
Dogar suggested to the Prime Minister to approve the hiring of international coaches to impart training to the young talent all over Pakistan to which the Prime Minister gave an affirmative response.
On the request of Dogar, the Prime Minister agreed to invite the presidents of global football body FIFA and its Asian affiliate AFC to visit Pakistan and meet him soon. The Prime Minister who himself is a great sportsman strongly feels that an interaction at this level will help promote football and will create an effective and progressive relations between the governing Bodies and PFF.
Dogar entered the fray as a potential presidential candidate on the backing of Punjab Football Association (PFA) chief Sardar Naveed Haider Khan, a former ally of incumbent Faisal Saleh Hayat who has been in power since 2003.
Also on Wednesday, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Football Association (KPFA) chief Zahir Shah announced his candidacy. Zahir was another former Hayat ally who decided to stand against him in the controversial 2015 elections that mired Pakistan football into unprecedented crisis.
Zahir met Dogar in Islamabad on Tuesday and while the latter’s camp said they had agreed to fight the elections jointly, the former said there was still some way before a consensus was reached.
FIFA, which had asked Hayat to hold elections by March 2020 has been seeking more information from the PFF regarding the Supreme Court order to hold elections.