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FIFA mission’s talks with Pak football stakeholders conclude

By Our Correspondent
May 30, 2019

KARACHI: In a bid to find the way forward for resolving the long standing dispute of Pakistan football, the joint mission of FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Wednesday held final round of talks with all stakeholders at Lahore.

The mission also heard the FIFA-recognised PFF two-member team comprising its Secretary General Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi and Manager Clubs and League Shahid Khokhar in a meeting which lasted for one hour.

The FIFA-recognised body’s legal counsel Afzal Khan also briefed the four-member mission.The mission also took input from the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) President Lt Gen (retd) Arif Hasan who was accompanied by Secretary General Khalid Mehmood.

Sources said that the president of FIFA-recognised PFF Faisal Saleh Hayat also discussed at length the current situation with the mission.

The mission was briefed about the background of the current football crisis in Pakistan by Faisal.Also meeting the mission were FIFA-recognised PFF’s senior vice-president Khadim Ali Shah and vice president Robina Irfan, president of Islamabad Football Association (IFA) Dr Fazal-ur-Rehman and Pakistan Football Referees Association (PFRA) president Mian Abdul Bari.

In the morning, a U-turn was seen on the part of Ashfaq-led PFF as Shah himself met the mission. He was accompanied by the Islamabad Football Association Secretary Sharafat Bukhari.

Sharafat told ‘The News’ that Shah wanted to meet them and thank them for coming to Pakistan.“We met a couple of the mission members. Shah thanked them for coming to Pakistan,” Sharafat said.

After the mission refused to meet its vice-president Naved Haider, Ashfaq’s Congress had sent only its legal team comprising Chaudry Zulfiqar and Taha Ali Zai who held a three-hour long meeting with the mission on Tuesday.

The mission, which was led by Head of MA Governance FIFA Luca Nicola, included Senior Manager MA Governance and Services FIFA Alexander Holt, Deputy Director Legal AFC Andrew Mercer and Senior MA Manager AFC Purushotam Kattel.

The mission returned Wednesday night and will submit its report with FIFA.“The mission is expected to submit concrete proposals for the way forward to the relevant FIFA body in due course,” a FIFA spokesman told ‘The News’ on Wednesday.