KARACHI: A group of football stakeholders led by Balochistan’s influential official Haji Saeed Tikko on Thursday gave November 10 as deadline for the Ashfaq group to vacate the PFF headquarters in order to pave way for lifting Pakistan’s suspension and holding the federation’s elections as per the mandate given to the Normalisation Committee by FIFA.
“Yes, we have given November 10 as the deadline for vacating the PFF headquarters,” Tikko told ‘The News’ after holding a news conference at Lahore on Thursday. “If it was not done then we would take further steps,” he said.
Tikko was flanked by Azam Khan (Sindh), Ali Bahar (Sindh), Salim Patni (Sindh), Shafiq (Balochistan), Hamza Ghori (Punjab) and Irfan Niazi (Islamabad).
Tikko said that they would hold a sit-in if the stakeholders’ request was not given any attention by the Ashfaq group.
“We are consulting with our people. We are doing this only for the sake of football. We are not doing politics. By tomorrow InshaAllah we will decide whether we are going to hold a sit-in in Islamabad or Lahore if our demand was not accepted by the Ashfaq group,” Tikko said.
He said that while going for sit-in they would bring in people from nooks and corners of the country who were affected by the deadlock created because of the occupation of the PFF headquarters.
“We will bring in international players, referees and coaches and we will need more manpower in a bid to make our sit-in successful,” Tikko said.
Tikko was part of the Ashfaq group’s recent meeting with the IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza. He had categorically stated that Ashfaq group would have to vacate the PFF headquarters unconditionally.
However, the Ashfaq group later set tough conditions which were rejected by NC.
“At the same time we also demand from NC if the things are done then it will have to hold elections within the given time-frame as any further delay will not be tolerated,” Tikko said.
He said that some people were scheduled to join them during the news conference from Khyber Pakhtunknwa, Kashmir, Khalid Sheikh from Sialkot and Sheikh Iqbal from Bahawalpur but they did not reach there because the roads had been blocked because of a protest going on.
Tikko said that they were told by these fellows that whatever the decision they took they would be backed by them.
FIFA suspended Pakistan in the first week of April and the suspension will be lifted only when the Ashfaq group hands over the headquarters to NC unconditionally.
FIFA installed NC in September 2019 but the committee failed to do anything towards elections.
Stakeholders demand Ashfaq group vacates PFF HQ
LAHORE: Pakistan’s football stakeholders, some of them part of the Pakistan Football Federation led by Ashfaq Hussain Shah, demanded on Thursday that the court-elected president unconditionally hands over the PFF headquarters to the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee by Nov 10.
Addressing a news conference at the Sports Journalists Association of Lahore (SJAL), they said that Pakistan football was mired in crisis with the takeover of the PFF headquarters leading to FIFA suspending Pakistan.
Among them was former Balochistan Football Association secretary Saeed Khan Taqqo, who said he was unaware that the actions of Ashfaq’s PFF would lead to such dire consequences. The officials said that the only elections that would be accepted by them were the ones which will be conducted by the Haroon Malik-led NC.
Protests and sit-ins in front of the PFF headquarters will follow, they warned, if Ashfaq’s PFF failed to handover the PFF headquarters to the NC.
The NC has been in talks with the government since March, when the PFF headquarters were seized from them. They have already presented an election roadmap to the government.
Ashfaq’s PFF, which came into power following an election held by the Supreme Court in 2018 which wasn’t recognised by FIFA, is of the view that it cannot trust the NC and are only willing to give a portion of the PFF headquarters to them for an election office.—Sports Reporter