by Umaid Wasim
KARACHI: Not being the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) president isn’t going to stop Faisal Saleh Hayat from becoming the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) vice-president.
Hayat is the only candidate for the vice-president slot from South Asia after Asia’s football governing body — which still holds him as the Pakistan’s football chief despite the Supreme Court holding fresh PFF elections in December last year — confirmed the final list of candidates who will stand for election at the AFC Congress in Kuala Lumpur on April 6.
Hayat, who was the PFF chief since 2003 before deciding to not contest the SC-ordered PFF election after terming it as a contravention of FIFA statutes, had initially also announced that he will compete for a slot on the FIFA Council — the utmost decision-making committee of the global football body.
FIFA couldn’t be immediately reached to ascertain whether Hayat had failed to clear the eligibility checks conducted by the FIFA Review Committee or had simply withdrawn from the race.
Four years ago, Hayat had also contested for the AFC vice-president slot but withdrew on the eve of the election in favour of India’s Praful Patel. Then, the PFF had claimed he’d done so in order to secure matches for Pakistan against their South Asian rivals. None of that materialised.
Pakistan football has been in doldrums since Hayat got himself re-elected controversially as the PFF chief in 2015. A legal battle ensued, putting the game on the backburner. With FIFA not accepting the SC-ordered PFF election, which it terms as “third-party interference” into the matters of its member association, the crisis remains.
Patel, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) president who was promoted to the role of AFC’s senior vice-president in 2016, will be fighting for a slot on the FIFA Council.
Meanwhile, AFC president Sheikh Salman — who has been at the helm since 2013 — faces opposition from Qatar’s Saoud Al-Mohannadi and UAE’s Mohamed Khalfan Al-Rumaithi.
The News adds:
KARACHI: Pakistan’s Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat is set to become vice president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) unopposed from the South Zone as the continental body on Friday confirmed the list of the candidates who will run for various seats in the elections for 2019-2023 period at the 29th AFC Congress in Kuala Lumpur on April 6.
Faisal, also the president of the FIFA-recognised Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), is the only candidate for the position.Faisal remained the AFC ExCo member for last four years. He also served as head of the AFC disciplinary committee. It would be a huge boost for Faisal to become the AFC vice president at a time when his PFF future is uncertain.
A new PFF as a result of the Supreme Court-ordered elections has already been formed. As per instructions of the apex court, Faisal’s PFF handed over the PFF headquarters and accounts to the new body, which is headed by Peshawar-born Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah, in December last year.
The last few matches of the Pakistan Premier Football League were held under the new body. But FIFA still recognises Faisal’s PFF as its affiliated body. The issue has put Pakistan’s participation in the 2020 AFC Under-23 Championship qualifiers in danger.
The qualifiers will be held in Uzbekistan later this month. India’s Praful Patel will contest elections for the FIFA council.Three candidates will contest elections for the AFC presidency: the sitting president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa (Bahrain), Saoud A Aziz M A Al-Mohannadi (Qatar) and Mohamed Khalfan Matar Saeed Alromaithi of the United Arab Emirates.
The AFC president will also serve as FIFA vice president.“In accordance with the AFC Statutes (Edition 2018), the AFC today confirms the final list of candidates who will stand for election for the term 2019-2023 at the 29th AFC Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on April 6, 2019,” AFC said in a press release on Friday.
On October 31, 2018, the Member Associations were notified that the election for members of the AFC Executive Committee (term 2019-2023) would be held at the 29th AFC Congress, the AFC said.
“Member Associations were given until midnight (Malaysia time) on December 6, 2018, to submit their nominations as per the requirement set out in the AFC Statutes (Edition 2018) and the AFC Electoral Code (Edition 2018) for the following positions: AFC President and FIFA vice president, five AFC vice presidents, six FIFA council members, one of whom shall also be an AFC female Executive Committee member, a total of five AFC female Executive Committee members, one of whom shall also be a FIFA Council member, and a further nine AFC Executive Committee members, it added.
The AFC said that the notified candidates submitted their applications for election in line with Articles 32 and 38 of the AFC Statutes (Edition 2018) and within the deadline set.
LAHORE – Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat has been elected unopposed vice president of Asian Football Federation (AFC), as no other candidate appeared from South Zone of AFC.
The AFC elections are to be held in the first week of April. The formal notification of Faisal’s election as vice president will be issued in April. This is a great victory for Pakistan and for the first time in the country’s 71-year history, any Pakistani has been honored to serve at Asian football level.
This speaks volumes about Faisal’s leadership and this will certainly help Pakistan football to grow to the next level. Particularly when the PFF has elected a new body under Syed Ashfaq Hussai in result of the elections held on apex court orders, which was not recognised by FIFA and AFC and Pakistan is expected to be suspended, sooner or later.
Talking to The Nation after being elected as AFC vice president unopposed, Faisal said: “My election as AFC vice president is a proud occasion for the football family of Pakistan and I am humbled by this monumental success. It will be my continuous endeavor to uphold the golden principles of this global sport in Asia with the joint efforts of the Asian football community. It will further enable me to develop the game in all its aspects in Pakistan. We will strive to achieve the best for our players, coaches, referees and all those associated with football in Pakistan.
“Being the first Pakistani ever to become AFC vice president, this office would enable me to further raise the voice and cause of Pakistan at the global forums highlighting and promoting the softer image of the country which is the pressing need of the times,” he added.
Football is further flourishing in almost every country, but the football activities are almost halt in the country as no national football team can take part in any international activity. On this, Faisal said: “Pakistan football was on the rise in early 2015 and was dealt a fatal blow with third party interference depriving the country of it’s true potential.
“Again we witnessed phenomenal progress in the short span of eight months in 2018, which was cut short again by third party interference. Pakistan football can only prosper and flourish when the international laws are abided to which ensure transparency and development,” he asserted.
Faisal urged the relevant authorities in Pakistan to let football be governed as it is in the other 210 countries of the world. “There is a dire need to stop playing favourites or interfering in the affairs of the federation, which has already caused great harm. To establish the soft image of Pakistan, it is pertinent to abide by the charter of international sports organization,” he concluded.