by Alam Zeb Safi
LAHORE: FIFA installed Normalisation Committee for Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) in September 2019 with Humza Khan as its chairman, giving it the mandate to hold PFF elections by June 2020.
However, the committee failed to meet the deadline due to various reasons. Its tenure was then extended until December 31, 2020, but once again it failed to meet the deadline.
The mandate has now been extended to June 30, 2021. However, this time the NC chairman is Canada-based football enthusiast Haroon Malik.
It’s a tough task for Haroon to conduct elections in the environment in which football community of Pakistan finds itself — deeply divided. However, he hopes the task will be completed provided no further complications and legal issues arose.
“The big task is the club registration and scrutiny. Once that happens smoothly, then holding elections within the stipulated time-frame will not be difficult,” Malik told a news conference at the PFF headquarters on Tuesday.
Only one of the four other members of NC, Shahid Khokhar, was present in the news conference.
Malik plans to conduct club registration process and scrutiny in a fair and transparent way. “We are negotiating these matters. After preparing a procedure for club registration we will share that with the stakeholders in order to get their feedback. In the light of their input we will be able to dispose of this pressing issue fairly and transparently,” he said.
“Yes, if legal issues come then there will be problems. We still have to tackle some legal matters. We cannot stop anybody from going to court,” Malik said.
He wants quick transition of power to the elected body. “I want fair, equitable and quick transition of power which is very important for the game of football and the players who are the main stakeholders,” he said.
“Football is in deep trouble. If we are to go ahead and progress in the field we will have to work on players’ development and quality competitions,” he said.
Besides going towards transparent elections, Malik also has to handle the day-to-day affairs of football. “We will try to invite foreign nations with the aim to play with us on FIFA days,” he said.
“We have also announced National Women Championship which will begin from March 10. In September, our men’s team will compete in SAFF Cup in Bangladesh and I am confident it will deliver,” Malik said.
“We are also finalising the Premier League and B-division League. The B-Division league will be held before the premier event,” he Malik said.
It is pertinent to mention here that during the last six years Pakistan missed five Premier League seasons. This destroyed the country’s football and some departments disbanded their football teams.
Malik also showed his determination to leave a solid organisational structure which will benefit Pakistan’s football in the long run.
He said that the NC’s progress on various fronts will be shared with the media as the time progresses.
He said that last March he was expecting that the duly elected body would take charge but it did not happen.
Last year in December when Humza Khan resigned as NC chairman, Muneer Ahmed Khan Sadhana, a senior member of NC, was given the task by FIFA to act as acting chairman.
FIFA appointed Haroon Malik as NC new chairman on January 19, 2021.
Three of the four previous NC members were also replaced. The new composition of NC is this: Haroon Malik (chairman), Muneer Sadhana, Shahid Khokhar, Saud Azam Hashmi and Haris Azmat (members).