by Abdul Mohi Shah
ISLAMABAD: The FIFA Normalization Committee will hold an important meeting with the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) top brass Monday in an effort to resolve the deepening Pakistan football crises.
Talking to The News Haris Azmat, a senior member of the FIFA Normalization Committee who is calling all the shots in absence of Haroon Malik, confirmed that he had accepted IPC Ministry request for a meeting Monday.
“They wanted my presence in a virtual meeting on Friday. But I was too busy and at the same time wanted to hold an in-person meeting with the IPC officials to make them realize what would be in store for country’s football if things go from bad to worse.” Haris told The News.
Haroon Malik, the chairman of the FIFA Normalization Committee had given him all the authority to take up important issues during the meeting with IPC officials. “Since Haroon Malik is in Canada these days, he has given me all the powers to hold the meeting with the government.”
Haris said there was a grave danger of further FIFA action in case the unconstitutional takeover of Football House would not go.
“FIFA has already suspended Pakistan’s membership and the process of imposing the five-year ban has already been initiated. Pakistan football could well be up against some serious and lengthy ban if the situation remains the same in days and months to come,” Haris said.
The FIFA Normalization Committee member said his meeting with the IPC Ministry would be an effort to make all the stakeholders realize the gravity of the situation. “Look football is one of the popular sports of Pakistan. Everyone wants an amicable settlement and for that, we have to follow the FIFA rules rather than going against them. No international sports governing body could tolerate any violation of its laid down rules and FIFA is no exception.”
When questioned as to why there was a delay in holding free and fair elections of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) as promised by FIFA, said the process was already initiated. “There were some hurdles and one of these was that majority of the football clubs were not coming up to the required definition of a club. There is a need to hold fresh scrutiny of the club where one person should be the president of one club only.”
Pakistan has already been barred from participation in the South Asian Football to be held in Bangladesh in September and the country may miss more such regional and international events in case FIFA puts the country under continuous suspension.
There is no one group in the country eager to take or retake the PFF. Besides Faisal Saleh Hayat Group, Zahir Shah, Ashfaq Shah, and Col Mujahid all are playing active role in this power-play game. It is Pakistan football that is the ultimate sufferer in the tussle to take over the powers with the main focus on the Rs 130 million and around annual grant, FIFA donates to Pakistan for the game promotion.