KARACHI: The Federal Minister of Interprovincial Coordination says the world football body FIFA has shown its willingness to work with the government to resolve the issues surrounding the Pakistan Football Federation.
The FIFA-appointed standards commission, however, made “no comment” on the claim. And the crisis surrounding the country’s football governing body shows no signs of abating.
Pakistan was suspended by FIFA in April after the court-elected PFF led by Ashfaq Hussain Shah took control of the PFF headquarters in the NC led by Haroon Malik.
Since then, the NC has gained government support and things seemed to be moving forward when the PFF headquarters were sealed by the Lahore Deputy Commissioner for non-payment of his lease for the past three years.
Ashfaq, who came to power after a December 2018 Supreme Court election that was unrecognized by FIFA, immediately cried foul, saying IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza was behind the decision to seal the siege.
Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad to announce the launch of Kamyab Jawan Sports Drive on Friday, Dr Fehmida hoped the PFF standoff would end soon.
“For the first time, FIFA has declared that we will work with the government and the IPC Minister to design a mechanism for a transparent election of the PFF,” she said.
His request was surprising because FIFA’s statutes are clearly against third-party interference in the affairs of its member associations – elections above all.
To organize new elections for the PFF – which has been in turmoil since 2015 – FIFA appointed the NC in September 2019.
But the NC welcomed in October the government’s monitoring of funding as well as the establishment of a regulatory framework when Dawn revealed that these were the conditions for the government to support the NC in its battle to free the seat of ‘Ashfaq.
The government appears to have fulfilled its end of the bargain. “The NC gave it to me in writing,” Dr Fehmida told Dawn on Friday, when asked if she was totally sure that FIFA was aware that the government would be involved in the election.
However, she added that the NC would not gain control of the PFF headquarters until they had a government meeting with FIFA officials.
“We want to talk to FIFA to be sure how things are going from here,” added Dr Fehmida. “The seat will not be handed over to the NC until it has organized talks with FIFA.”
It was only recently, in a case similar to that of Pakistan, that FIFA had talks with a government. While announcing the Normalization Committee for Chad earlier this week, he announced that one of its mandates would be “to develop a cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Sports and the Chadian Football Federation, with advice from FIFA, including defined objectives and responsibilities for each party â.
PFF NC Chairman Haroon, however, has remained tight-lipped on whether something similar will happen in Pakistan. “No comment”, he declared to Dawn in a laconic response on Friday, when asked if the NC had given something in writing to the government concerning its role in the elections. âAll we have given to the government is the electoral roadmapâ¦ and that too according to the statutes of the PFF.
Posted in Dawn, le 4 December 2021