Thursday June 20, 2024

Pakistan Premier Football League must be held now, demand officials

By Alam Zeb Safi
July 15, 2023

LAHORE: The officials of major teams on Friday urged Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee to hold the Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) at all costs this season which will reduce the financial woes of national footballers and will also force departments to make their disbanded teams active as per the Prime Minister’s directives.

“The survival of departments and other major teams in football depends on the Premier League,” a senior official of a department told ‘The News’.

“If we don’t play league how will we grow and how will we play at the Asian club level? The Premier League teams are stuck at the same place,” the official said.

“It is useless then to stay like this if we are not promoted. In cricket scenario too we had said that departments’ survival depends on events. If there is no league then what is the justification for us to keep existing players and to hire new players,” the official added.

“I urge the authorities to begin the Premier League for the sake of these poor players who are facing tough times in this period of hyper-inflation,” the official said.

The official said that this NC has stuck for the last two years and is wasting money on women football while doing nothing noteworthy for men’s football.

“They throw money on useless things. They brought in nine players from abroad for Mauritius and India events and what did they do there? They conceded load of goals. These poor players will not forgive them if they do not start the league for them,” the official said.

Meanwhile, a top official of another department told this correspondent that the government is being challenged. “The Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s directive has been put into the dust bin by the PFF NC and departments. In this 60 percent responsibility rests on the NC and 40 percent on the government. Unless NC issues invitations to the departments for the Pakistan Premier Football League the premier’s directive regarding restoration of departmental sports will not be implemented,” the official pointed out.

“The IPC minister needs to give final notice to the NC that if it did not send invitation letters to the departments for the Premier League and if it did not conclude the National Challenge Cup then strict action would be taken against NC,” the official said.

“In the women sector NC is throwing money where there is relaxation of coaching qualification. They need to improve women’s ranking. You are not playing a ranking event in the women’s sector,” the official said.

“The departmental players have been left jobless. Some run bykea, some are conductors in buses and some work at shops. Believe me they are in dire straits and they need Premier League through which they can earn some money to support their families,” the official said. Only the armed forces, KRL, WAPDA and Police are active in football while SSGC, NBP, PIA and KPT are inactive. K-Electric has disbanded its team.

Muslim Club Chaman, Baloch Club Nushki and Afghan FC are also part of the Premier League and are suffering because of lack of the country’s major domestic event.

An official of another department said that it is the responsibility of NC to conduct the Premier League. “NC is responsible to conduct day-to-day affairs of football and it also encompasses the Premier League which is the soul of football. How can you form a national team without Premier League? It is ridiculous that NC depends only on foreign-based players because it has no domestic structure despite spending four years in office,” the official said.

The Premier League is a main source of earning for the country’s footballers who already have faced huge financial loss due to few years of inactivity.