Sunday January 23, 2022

FIFA normalisation body to run PFF affairs, hold elections

June 30, 2019

KARACHI: In order to resolve the long-standing dispute between the two factions of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), FIFA has decided to appoint a normalisation committee to run its day-to-day affairs and hold elections of the federation and district and provincial associations within nine months.

This ended a long rule of Faisal Saleh Hayat who had been running the federation since 2003.

However, it is not yet known whether Faisal will contest the PFF next elections under the normalisation committee.

“On 27 June 2019, the Bureau of the FIFA Council decided to appoint a normalisation committee for the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) in accordance with art. 14 par. 1 (a) and art. 8 par. 2 of the FIFA Statutes,” FIFA said in a press release on Saturday.

“The decision follows the recent FIFA/AFC fact-finding mission’s visit to Pakistan, which concluded that only free, fair and transparent elections of the PFF executive committee would reunite the football stakeholders in Pakistan and set the basis for the development of football which has been at a standstill since 2015,” FIFA said.

A joint four-member fact-finding mission of FIFA and AFC last month investigated the issue by interviewing all parties concerned and its report caused FIFA’s decision to appoint normalisation committee.

According to FIFA, the normalisation committee will run the PFF’s daily affairs, ensure the proper registration and scrutiny of the clubs in Pakistan, draft and ratify, with the assistance of FIFA and the AFC, an electoral code for the PFF, organise and conduct elections at district and provincial levels and organise and conduct the elections of a new PFF executive committee.

“The normalisation committee will be composed of an adequate number of members to be identified by the FIFA administration, in consultation with AFC and relevant local stakeholders. In line with the FIFA Governance Regulations, all members of the normalisation committee will be subject to an eligibility check,” FIFA said.

“The normalisation committee would act as an electoral committee whose decisions are final and binding, and the specified period of time during which it will perform its functions will expire as soon as it has fulfilled all of its tasks but no later than nine months after its members have been officially appointed by FIFA,” it added.

“FIFA and AFC will begin the task of identifying, interviewing and selecting the members of the normalisation committee – an update will be provided on that matter in due course,” FIFA said.

Pakistan’s football has suffered a lot due to the dispute between the two factions since 2015.

Pakistan also faced FIFA’s suspension in late 2017. The nation missed many international events because of the dispute.

Faisal appreciated the decision of FIFA to appoint a normalisation committee. “It’s a positive decision for the future of the game in Pakistan,” Faisal told ‘The News’ on Saturday from London.

“I have said repeatedly that without FIFA and AFC Pakistan football cannot grow and prosper. It is vital to follow and fully adopt their statutes and directives. FIFA has, in its decision, maintained its earlier position of not accepting December 12, 2018, Supreme Court-imposed elections which Ashfaq and Company were repeatedly trumpeting that they will have to accept,” he said.

“I have always contributed in a positive and selfless manner towards the growth of football in Pakistan which was nowhere when I took over and established a strong infrastructure and foundation in the then non-existent system,” claimed Faisal, also an AFC vice-president.

“My international contacts have always been employed to develop Pakistan. Because of the obstinacy, self-seeking and corrupt mindsets of these destroyers of Pakistan football today we find ourselves at rock bottom of international standings and in comparison look at our achievements in 2014 and early 2015 when we beat teams much higher in rankings than us,” Faisal said.

He said the turmoil started in 2015 with government interference and the perpetrators of that were still there to eat up the huge money the PFF under him had saved for the development of the game.

“Now these corrupt and inept elements have nowhere to go but to vacate the offices they occupy and surrender the funds they continue to squander, given to PFF by FIFA and AFC,” Faisal said.

Meanwhile, Syed Ashfaq Hussain, president of the PFF formed on December 12, 2018, as a result of the Supreme Court-ordered elections, also welcomed FIFA’s decision of appointing normalisation committee. “I am more than happy,” Ashfaq told this correspondent.

“We had told the FIFA mission that we were ready for elections. We are waiting to see who the world body appoints as members of the normalisation committee. If elections are held under FIFA then I hope they will be fair and transparent,” Ashfaq said.

Ashfaq said they had handled PFF accounts in a fair manner. “Personally I have not spent a single penny on myself from the PFF exchequer. When I move around the country I spend from my own pocket,” he said.

He said he had no enmity with Faisal. He added that his sole aim was to serve football and work for its betterment.