by Alam Zeb Safi
KARACHI: Ashfaq Hussain Shah, head of the PFF which was formed under the Supreme Court orders in 2018, has urged FIFA to take action against its installed Normalisation Committees which wasted 18 months without doing anything to hold the PFF elections.
“FIFA is a good organisation. It should probe what its installed NCs did during the last 18 months and how much money they spent during this period,” Ashfaq told ‘The News’ after holding a news conference in Lahore on Friday.
“We never interfered during the last 18 months. They just wasted time and money and earned bad name for FIFA and AFC. FIFA should take action against these NCs as per its regulations,” he said.
He said that FIFA should also look that this PFF had the mandate of the Supreme Court. “FIFA should read the situation and must probe who created the mess. Its own-installed NCs are responsible for all this situation. We have the mandate of the apex court and we are a legitimate body. We respected FIFA and AFC by handing over the administrative charge to their NCs but they hurt everyone,” Ashfaq said.
“The NC chairman says that he cannot hold elections according to the 2015 list. FIFA had installed NC as an electoral body, but its chairman started talking about taking powers of the Congress in his own hands,” Ashfaq said.
He said that their PFF had big names as Congress members who had rendered meritorious services for football development in the country.
When asked how they would tackle the situation if FIFA imposed sanctions on his PFF Congress members, Ashfaq said their lawyers would decide about that if such a situation emerged.
Ashfaq said that NCs lavishly spent funds during the last 18 months. “NCs wasted huge money. We are collecting each and everything. The fund which we had left in 2019 also has been reduced. NC spent Rs25 million on national women championship and you saw its standard,” Ashfaq said.
He said that they would run football in a much better way. “We are planning and will soon unveil our programme of activities. We also will begin Premier League after Ramadan,” Ashfaq said.
Meanwhile, this correspondent learnt that effort is being made to resolve the issue amicably through back door diplomacy. “Around three hours long meeting was held the other day in which various options were discussed to resolve the dispute,” a source privy to the development told ‘The News’.
“NC chairman Haroon Malik was not part of the dialogue but people close to him were there,” the source said.
“There may be some give and take; nothing will happen unconditionally,” the source said.
As the ball is in FIFA court and a decision regarding Pakistan suspension may come next week after the spring vacations will end and FIFA office will reopen.
Sources said FIFA cannot take suspension decision against the Ashfaq group Congress members as there are a number of such persons involved who have majority in their respective regions and banning them would worsen the situation.
Sources said it would be difficult for any future NC to operate if these people who attended the Congress meeting in Islamabad were banned. “I hope FIFA will realise the situation as the body which has reassumed the PFF secretariat control has been formed under the directives of the Supreme Court ,” the source said.