by Alam Zeb Safi
KARACHI: It is yet to be clarified whether the coming Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) elections will be held under the existing constitution of the federation or FIFA will frame a new electoral code for the purpose.
When this correspondent asked the PFF Normalisation Committee chairman Humza Khan on Saturday about the matter he sent a message through his spokesman, saying:” We will consult FIFA and the AFC before finalising.”
If the PFF elections are held under the PFF Constitution some major actors could face an axe. When elections were being held under the orders of Supreme Court in December 2018 the nomination papers of three presidential candidates Syed Zahir Shah, Malik Amir Dogar and Naveed Haider had been rejected.
However, Zahir Shah Group had also filed the nomination papers of Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah as covering candidate and he got elected later.
According to the PFF Constitution, a candidate for the office of the president shall have played an active role as member of the PFF Congress, member PFF Executive Committee, PFF elected officials, AFC, FIFA for at least two of the preceding five years before being proposed as a candidate.
Meanwhile, during a video press conference on Saturday, Humza Khan made his best possible effort to reject all allegations leveled by the stakeholders against him and his NC.
“I am satisfied with the working of the NC so far,” Humza said.
He rubbished the notion that his NC is working for paving way for a particular group.
“I don’t know what type of groups are emerging and who is bringing which group. I don’t want to involve myself in these things. What is going on in the background is not our concern. Our mandate is to hold elections of the PFF as soon as possible,” he said.
“We have formed provincial NCs and when the COVID-19 pandemic will be overcome we will form NCs at districts level and club scrutiny will be started,” Humza said.
However, he clarified that the elections cannot be held before December this year.
“It is not possible to hold elections now within the given time frame of nine months. If situation becomes clear by June then effort would be made to hold elections by the end of this year. If issues persist then it could be delayed further,” Humza said.
He said that talks are underway with FIFA for extension of the time frame.
NC had been appointed by FIFA in late September last year with the mandate to hold club scrutiny, elections at the district, provincial and PFF levels within nine months of its appointment.
Humza said that the PFF NC has the mandate to form provincial Normalisation Committees and made some changes in the composition of some provincial NCs in order to remove those persons with alleged strong links.
“Can any one prove that we have changed Punjab NC five times. It’s just an allegation. We made some minor changes as we wanted to replace some persons with alleged links and asked them to resign,” said Humza, also a former player of the Karachi United football team.
Reacting to allegations from some big stakeholders Humza said that no body can prove that NC is spending existing funds lavishly.
“No body can prove that we are spending lavishly from the PFF exchequer. No body can prove that our lady Secretary is getting any huge TA/DA. We have limited resources and are spending every penny responsibly and FIFA knows about that,” Humza said.
He also rubbished the reports that his staff members are getting huge salaries.
“We have recruited competent people with load of experience and if you check, their salaries are lower than the existing market value,” he added.
To a question, Humza said that NC wanted Faisal-led PFF staff members to work with the committee.
“When we took charge we had invited staff members of Faisal group but if they don’t want to work then what could we do. We want all stakeholders to go with us,” Humza said.
He said that NC has limited funds and it cannot financially assist national footballers, referees and coaches in this pressing period of COVID-19.
“It’s not possible for us to help them through our available resources. We are in negotiation with FIFA and if it gives us funds then we will help them,” he said.
Responding to a question about the venue of the National Women Championship Humza said it was not his decision but it was the decision of the competition committee.
“Islamabad’s Jinnah Stadium was not available and so we had to bring that event to Karachi which was not on the radar initially. And when KPT Stadium also was not available we brought some matches to the KU United Stadium. People criticised it that the same venue is for nine-a-side matches. I assure you go and check it meets the required standard,” Humza conceded.
He said the initial few months were very tough.
“Six months is no time. We had to transform secretariat and to hold events. We started PFF League which had not been held for the previous five years. People say that we have made Karachi as camp office and we are spending lavishly. I have taken a room here from where I operate and nothing else,” he concluded.