by Alam Zeb Safi
KARACHI: Haji Saeed Tikko group is the most influential in football circle of Balochistan. The group has a few mighty persons, including Tikko himself and Abdul Rauf Nautezai, and it will decide its presidential candidate for Balochistan Football Association (BFA) elections through consensus, an insider told ‘The News’ from Chaman on Wednesday.
The elections of BFA will be held later this year under the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee .
Chaman-based dry-fruit exporter Haji Saeed has also remained as provincial secretary with the former BFA President Abdul Rauf Nautezai of district Chagi in the previous tenure.
Rauf had defeated Haji Khalil of Mastung in the 2015 elections. The decision had been made on the toss as both the candidates had secured eight votes each.
He said that Haji Saeed group has the support of around 12 districts out of 18 which have voting rights. Moreover, the group will also grab the Balochistan Football Referees Association single vote. He revealed that presidency aspirant Zahir Shah, a PFF NC senior member and a close relative of Zahir Shah, had contacted Haji Saeed.
“They have requested him to support Haji Khalil but Haji Saeed has refused to do so,” he said. “Haji Saeed is very honest with football and he personally is that interested in BFA top job but this time his friends and football lovers are trying to convince him to fight for the BFA top slot.”
However, he said that the final decision will be taken through consensus as the group has a bunch of mighty stalwarts, adding that Haji Saeed has always raised voice for genuine clubs and potential districts and has never compromised on merit.
Some sources in Balochistan privy to the development told ‘The News’ that Haji Khalil is being allegedly supported by the PFF Normalisation Committee and has constituted Balochistan NC without taking stakeholders into confidence. They alleged the same provincial committee, in which some unknown people have been installed, is backing Haji Khalil.
The source close to Haji Saeed said that Saeed is expected to inform PFF NC about the reservations and if again the PFF NC did not act then the matter could go to court.
He said that Balochistan’s case is much different from the other provinces. The various tribes in Balochistan are very emotional and always drag enmity. He feared that if anything wrong during districts and provincial elections and club scrutiny was done in Balochistan then it could lead to bloodshed.
Some other sources said that in order to prevent bloodshed some major actors of Balochistan football will file legal suit in courts.
They said that the PFF NC’s decisions so far have created serious issues in the provinces particularly in Balochistan.
They alleged that some unknown clubs are being registered and the process has created tension among stakeholders of the province.
Meanwhile, Haji Saeed group on Wednesday wrote a letter to PFF NC, informing it about its reservations and the biased approach of the Balochistan NC.
A copy of the letter has also been sent to FIFA and AFC. In the letter, a copy of which has also been received by this correspondent, Haji Saeed Group has demanded of the PFF NC to replace the Balochistan NC by installing people with fair reputation.
The group has also informed the PFF NC that if fair electoral process was not followed the situation in Balochistan could become too dangerous.