I took advice but didn’t necessarily act on it, says ex-PFF secretary [Dawn]

I took advice but didn’t necessarily act on it, says ex-PFF secretary [Dawn]

KARACHI: Former Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) general secretary Manizeh Zainli admitted she took advice from several people during her fallout with former Normalisation Committee chairman Humza Khan, but said she did ‘not necessarily act upon it’.

Her admission came after a press conference held by the group of football officials led by Ashfaq Hussain Shah stated, with voice recordings, of a plan to oust Humza from the FIFA-appointed NC.

In those recordings, Manizeh is being guided on how to implicate Humza by PFF finance director Adnan Us-Sadiq and former FIFA development officer Mohsen Gilani, who Ashfaq group accused of influencing and hampering the Normalisation process.

The Ashfaq group, which came to power after an election held by the Supreme Court which was not recognised by FIFA, stated that the recordings proved why they didn’t trust the NC and forced them to seize the PFF headquarters from the NC — which is now led by Haroon Malik — and saw FIFA suspend Pakistan last month.

“In light of these recordings that have been leaked, I would like to reiterate my stance, that whatever claim I made, I still stand by it,” Manizeh said on Twitter. “At that point in time I took advice from several people but not necessarily acted upon it.

“The advice was sought in order to best handle the situation so that no harm would come to the staff at PFF as can be heard in the recordings.

“I would also like to add I have nothing to do with PFF anymore, have no desire to have my name dragged into this, and were never associated with any group or faction. Being a mother, I stood up for what I thought was right.”

Manizeh’s contract had been terminated by Humza but she was reinstated after Munir Sadhana was appointed interim chairman of the NC following Humza’s resignation as chairman in December last year.

She had gone to court against her termination and after taking over as interim chairman, Sadhana advised FIFA that it was in their best interests not to prolong the legal battle and reinstate her.

“FIFA and the AFC take note that the contract of Ms Manizeh expires on 31 December 2020 and will not be renewed. You may go ahead with the below proposal,” FIFA senior member associations governance manager Laura Dijak wrote in reply to Sadhana in a December email Manizeh shared with Dawn.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2021