by Alam Zeb Safi
LAHORE: After having intercepted some audio conversations of the internal and external actors seemingly manipulating the PFF elections Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah group on Wednesday categorically said that they are not going to hand over the control of the PFF headquarters to the FIFA-installed PFF Normalisation Committee.
“We are not going to hand over the charge to any one after such a huge disclosure. Yes, we are ready to talk with FIFA and the AFC,” Ashfaq-led PFF vice-president Naveed Haider told a crowded news conference here at the PFF headquarters.
Ashfaq was also present on the occasion.
Naved called for action against the former FIFA Development Officer Mohsin Gilani for allegedly sabotaging the electoral efforts as an outside manipulator with strong links in both FIFA and AFC.
“We request the AFC to take action against Mohsin Gilani. He first acted against NC chairman Humza Khan and now is against Haroon Malik, the new NC chief,” Naved said.
He said that Haroon Malik cannot serve as NC chairman. “In no way can Haroon become the NC chairman as per FIFA rules. He is not Pakistan-based and has commercial interests with links to a company which organises commercial leagues,” he said.
“Haroon had come as NC chairman with a two-year mandate. He wanted to create a hung Congress, aimed to reduce departmental votes from eight to just one and wanted to give only the Army the voting right,” said Naved, while referring to PFF Director Finance’s Adnan’s voice clip, saying this during his conversation with Mohsin Gilani.
Naved also urged Faisal Saleh Hayat, former PFF president, AFC Legal Committee chairman and AFC vice-president, to take action against those who aimed to use his electronic signature. He referred to an audio clip of Adnan talking to Mohsin Gilani, claiming that he has access to Faisal’s electronic signature.
Naved said that all audio and other proofs have been forwarded to FIFA and AFC.
“We are also writting to the government and will ask FIA to investigate and take action against the perpetrators,” Naved said.
“After such irregularities how can we trust the process? FIFA and AFC should talk to us,” Naved said.
The audio recording clips have been retrieved from Adnan’s laptop.
“The laptop is the PFF property. It’s a cyber crime to record conversation of anybody without his consent,” Naved said.
Ashfaq said that they want fair and transparent elections and not “rigged” polls. He said that Rs2.1 million was spent by the NC in 18 months.
Ashfaq said that on May 29 they would hold the PFF ExCo meeting and would make decisions for the betterment of football.
Meanwhile, a script distributed among the participants of the news conference said: “While opposing parties skew a narrative that talks about “takeover”, we have simply reclaimed the charge that was given by us to the Normalization Committee on the condition of fulfilling their mandate. We could no longer trust the NC because of the personal agendas and a complete annihilation of the football electoral process and the PFF Constitution.
“Pakistan football has been in a crisis for some time at least since 2015 and we are being blamed for it. This is untrue,” it said. “In September 2019 when FIFA announced its Normalization Committee since we felt that it appeared to be fair and had an independent Chairman Hamza Khan we conditionally agreed to work with FIFA. The conditions were that the NC would work transparently to complete its primary mandate of conducting elections in a timely manner,” it said.
“From the outset we found the NC was working on a different agenda. In the beginning we felt that Hamza Khan was to blame and hence even raised complaints against him at various forums including FIFA. However, later it became clear that certain people had been misguiding him from outside or through other NC Members such as Colonel Mujahidullah Tareen,” the script added.
Ashfaq group also circulated a number of audio clips carrying Mohsin Gilani, NC current member Haris Azmat, NC’s former member Col Mujahid, NC’s former member and acting chairman Muneer Sadhanana and a few others.
When asked about his conversation with Mohsin Gilani, NC member Haris Azmat told ‘The News’ it was his right to get tips from anyone before being appointed as NC member. “I took tips from over 50 people. But after the appointment I have worked with integrity,” Haris said.