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Tuesday March 05, 2024

Ignoring departments, PFF to send club to SAFF championship

By Our Correspondent
November 30, 2023

LAHORE: Despite a warning by the departmental teams that they would resist if the authorities ignored them for the next year’s SAFF Club Championship, Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee on Wednesday stated its intent to send a Premier League club to the regional major event.

“Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) Normalization Committee is delighted to reveal that SAFF is set to host the prestigious SAFF Club Championship, 2024,” PFF NC said in a press release.

The Pakistan Football Federations logo. — PFF website
The Pakistan Football Federation's logo. — PFF website

“Following productive discussions between the PFF Normalization Committee, organisers and SAFF, an official invitation has been extended to the PFF to nominate a football club to represent Pakistan in this premier club football competition,” it added. “In adherence to the principle of sporting merit only clubs that have participated in the top-tier official competition in the country, the Pakistan Premier League (PPL), are eligible for consideration. After a meticulous review of the last ten years’ data it has been identified that the PPFL has been held twice. The deserving clubs that have consistently showcased their prowess in both instances are Afghan Football Club, Muslim Football Club and Nushki’s Baloch FC,” it added.

“To further evaluate the criteria of sporting merit these clubs will be invited to feature in a competition utilising a league format. The club leading in points will earn the esteemed opportunity to represent Pakistan in the SAFF Club Championship 2024. The single league-based competition is scheduled to take place in Quetta while details of the said event will be shared in due course,” NC said.

A key official of a major department was furious at the development. “We have the only chance of a protest now and we will do it,” the official said. “It’s highly unjust with the departments and it means that they have decided to abolish departments. I think there is no difference between the policy of NC and former Prime Minister Imran Khan,” the official said.

“Then tell us straight away to abolish departments as they will not spend millions of budget on a single event. We will also weigh legal option,” the official said.