LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: FIFA President Gianni Infantino will soon be visiting Pakistan to see the development work carried out by the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF).
Infantino made the promise of visiting Pakistan on the invitation of PFF President Faisal Saleh Hayat who met him at FIFA Headquarters, Zurich, on Tuesday evening.
“Pakistani people have a huge interest in game of football. Youngsters have potential to excel at international level. FIFA would continue to assist Pakistan at all levels. I would be soon visiting Pakistan to see football development work,” Infantino said during the meeting.
FIFA has substantially increased its financial support for football development in member associations. ‘The News’ has learnt that FIFA is likely to extend financial support to Pakistan to $1 million dollar.
Faisal thanked Infantino for the steadfast support during the last three years of occupation of football house and the game by “illegal elements” and also for showing keen interest in the development of football in Pakistan.
They discussed the completion of unfinished goal projects. FIFA President agreed to not only complete the three unfinished projects in Sukkur, Jacobabad and Khanewal but also to install an artificial pitch at Khanewal.
Faisal said on the occasion that PFF wanted earliest completion of the goal projects which would serve as football development centres and further PFF’s football infrastructure initiative. “The President FIFA has kindly addressed our concerns in this regard” Faisal said.
Another one of the important subjects discussed between the two Presidents was the negative and detrimental impact on the game during the last three years due to third party intervention which brought the football in Pakistan to a halt and caused massive damage to its systematic development and growth. “FIFA will be sending a delegation to Pakistan to assist PFF in making a plan for fast track recovery,” he added.
PFF chief added that FIFA delegation would discuss with PFF a roadmap to avoid any political intervention in future in order to uphold independence of the member association according to FIFA statutes.
“FIFA will also provide technical support to PFF for reviewing PFF Statutes. A FIFA team is also likely to visit Pakistan in this regard to assist PFF,” the PFF President said.
During the meeting, Infantino was briefed by the PFF chief on the multiple steps taken by PFF to restart football activities during the last four months of this calendar year, including National Challenge Cup, women’s domestic and international events. On the sidelines of the meeting, PFF chief also met the FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura.