ISLAMABAD, Dec 16 (APP):The newly-elected President of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah
said on Sunday he had more than enough evidence to prove before FIFA (Fédération
Internationale de Football Association) that football had been damaged in Pakistan.
“We are going to tell them the facts and figures as what has happened with football
in Pakistan. I hope they (FIFA) will understand the reality,” he told APP.
Ashfaq, who brought to an end Faisal Saleh Hayat’s 15-year reign after winning
Wednesday’s PFF elections that took place at the Supreme Court Building said that FIFA
had only been given one side of the story.
He said that the letter sent
to PFF by FIFA, the global game governing body ahead of elections was responded
by another body. “Throughout the election period, a negative message has been
given to them (FIFA). Now we are waiting for a chance when they call us and we
tell them the true picture,” he added.
Spelling out his plans, he
said he had only one priority and that was to raise the standard of football in
Pakistan. “Although football is a general public game, people in our country even
don’t know whether it exists here or not. The reason is that during the past
several years only politics has been done and no practical step taken to
develop it here,” he said.
Ashfaq said he wanted to
take a fresh start and did not want to discuss the past. “The past is bitter. I don’t want to
discuss even that. I believe in one thing, let us make a history and not discuss the history”,
He said he wanted to take unique steps to raise standard of football in Pakistan. “The current
position is that out of 213 countries we are at number 204 in football. That means
practically no football is left in the country and you have to start from the zero.”
He said the new body would have to work on several things to bring the actual football
“We’ve to encourage football right from the grassroots level till the top. We’ll go to the school level.
We’ll talk to colleges and universities. We’ll have to set up academies to engage people at the
tehsil and district levels. People will come up from there and make football popular
“It is not like sitting in
the drawing room and talking from there. We’ve to go into the field by all
means to find people and bring football on ground in actual sense,” he added.
Ashfaq said he was an
optimist and believed things could be done provided work was done in the right
direction. “I’m also optimistic because the new PFF team is comprised of football
lovers. They are the people who have sacrificed their time, money and
everything for football. Everyone is enthusiastic and wants to do something for
the game. Everyone wants to give a new light and path to football in Pakistan,”
He also appealed to the
government to provide grounds to the federation for promoting football in the
country. “We don’t have sufficient number of grounds. We’ll approach all
authorities and request them for the betterment of football.”
He thanked Supreme Court of
Pakistan for making free and fair PFF elections possible. “Special thanks to
media also for highlighting the realities and presenting the facts as they are.
We’ll need more help from media because presently people are not paying any
attention to football. We’ve to give respect to football and for that we need
coverage,” he added.