by Alam Zeb Safi
KARACHI: Despite having served for three months, Normalisation Committee is yet to discuss and finalise a road-map for the clubs scrutiny, which is to pave the way for elections at district, provincial and Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) levels.
“We are yet to discuss and finalise a road-map,” NC chairman Humza Khan told ‘The News’ in an interview on Saturday.
However, he was quick to add that very soon meetings would be planned and a road-map for vital targets would be finalised after thorough discussion.
FIFA has given NC nine months to conduct club scrutiny and hold elections at district, provincial and PFF levels.
FIFA named the members of the committee on September 13. And on September 27 the then PFF led by Ashfaq Hussain Shah PFF handed over to the NC the federation’s secretariat at Lahore.
Humza is confident that elections can be held within three months unless something unavoidable happens. “Yes, within three months elections can be conducted unless something unforeseen happens,” said Humza, also a former captain of Karachi United.
Humza did not know details about why Pakistan was denied entry for the 13th South Asian Games but said that the NC had made its best effort to ensure the team’s entry in the biennial spectacle in which India’s entry had also been rejected for late submission of entries of the squad by names.
“I don’t know exact details but we made the best effort to ensure our team’s entry,” Humza said.
This was the second occasion on the trot that Pakistan football team missed the South Asian Games. The former SAG champions also missed the football event of the 12th SAG held in India in 2016.
When asked why NC held Pakistan Under-19 team camp at Layyah where footballers had been boarded at a poorly-maintained hall, Humza said,” It was free of cost. You know at that time the things were not settled. The accommodation at the PFF headquarters was also not ready, so we opted for that place,” Humza said.
Asked why NC did not advertise posts and filled them on its own, Humza said, “On the one hand people are asking us why the posts were not advertised and on the other we are being forced to take steps towards the targets. It could have taken six months had we opted to advertise the posts as hundreds of CVs would have come in. And it would have been a tough job then to pick the desired candidates,” Humza said.
“We have brought in efficient staff and they are being given market-based salaries,” Humza claimed.
About the contract of Brazilian coach Jose Nogueira, Humza said all of his dues would be cleared. “I have responded to his every letter he wrote to me and I have told him to be patient. Once we know the actual position of his contract we will clear all his dues as per the contract’s provisions,” Humza said.
When this correspondent asked him if Jose was under PFF contract then why he was not called for supervising the South Asian Games camp, Humza said the NC did not call him because it did not know about his contract details.
About selection of coaches, he said he discusses these things with former PFF secretary Col Mujahid, who is a member of NC. “I don’t know which coach was partial and which was not during the conflict. We pick coaches based on their experience and calibre for various international assignments,” he said.
When asked why Shehzad Anwar, the only pro-license coach in the country, was ignored for coaching job, Humza said he had called Shehzad to meet him but he did not come.
For SAG camp, NC named former Pakistan captain Haroon Yousuf and former international Mohammad Arshad, although they had no experience of coaching at the elite level. Both also are less qualified than Shehzad.
“No one can ask me about coaches’ selection. Yes, I can be asked about the performance of the team,” Humza said.
NC appointed Nasir Ismail as head coach of Pakistan under-19 team which lost all its four matches at the 2020 AFC Under-19 Qualifiers in Oman last month.
Pakistan lost to Kuwait 1-2, Palestine 1-5, Iraq 0-3 and Oman 0-1 to finish at the fifth place in the group.