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Sunday June 16, 2024

Departments seek two-week delay in Challenge Cup final round

By Alam Zeb Safi
April 18, 2024
The Pakistan Football Federations logo can be seen in this image. — PFF website
The Pakistan Football Federation's logo can be seen in this image. — PFF website

LAHORE: In order to tackle various internal matters, the country’s major departments on Wednesday urged Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee to delay the National Challenge Cup final round for at least two weeks so that they could get approval of their top brass and prepare their teams properly.

“I think NC should delay the event for at least two weeks and it should give teams enough time for preparation,” a senior official of a major state-owned department told ‘The News’ on Wednesday.

NC on April 5 announced that the round of 16 of National Challenge Cup would be held here at Lahore from May 1-12. “For a long time teams have been inactive and if you announce it in Eid days that the event will be held from May 1-12 so it really creates issues. You don’t inform departments officially by sending emails to them and you announce it on social media. It’s ridiculous,” the official said.

“You know offices were closed. The issue is that we received a letter from our directorate that when there is an event then we have to intimate it 40 days in advance. “You know a department needs time to manage budget, logistics and make other arrangements,” the official said.

“I think announcing an event on such a short notice is not a good approach from the authorities,” the official said. “Yes, for some unknown departments it may be okay as they don’t have any proper plan for such events,” he said.

“We are in doubt as we will meet and then the things will become clear,” the official said. “NC should have announced the event at least one and a half month before which could have given enough time to major departments to make their arrangements and ensure proper preparation,” the official signed off.

Meanwhile, a top official of another major department was also not happy with the decision of NC to give such a short time to the participating teams. “When NC announced the event we wrote to it that our office would be close for ten days and we would hardly get two weeks. How we would get approval from our top office and prepare the team,” the official said.

“We requested Normalisation Committee to choose another timeframe for this event but NC did not reply. They want to hold the event inside 12 days so tell me how it is possible,” the official said.

“They should delay it for at least 15 days. NC also should invite registration of both old and new players. We have also requested NC to clear dues so that we could avoid audit objection,” the official said.

The official was quick to add that they have already given green signal to NC relating to their participation, adding it would be of high value if it takes the step to delay it for two weeks. The official said that it would be important for NC to announce the league so that in long-term Pakistan could get talent for the Asian Cup Qualifiers.

“We will happily feature in the league,” the official was quick to add. The format of the event is likely to be altered with the 16 outfits expected to be drawn in four groups.