ISLAMABAD, Mar 31 (APP): Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza Wednesday sought time from FIFA to resolve the issue of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) in an amicable way.
The world’s football governing body on Tuesday had issued a stern warning to PFF president Syed Ashfaq Hussain and his group, asking them to hand back the Federation’s headquarters to the PFF Normalisation Committee or else the country will face a suspension.
Ashfaq was elected PFF president in 2018 in elections held under the apex court’s decision. However, he along with his body handed the charge to the FIFA-installed NC in September 2019 on the condition that it would hold fair and transparent elections. Pakistan’s Canada-based Haroon Malik is Chairman of the NC.
Ashfaq along with his group on Saturday took over the control of the PFF headquarters from the NC, stating that it was not serious in holding elections as mandated by FIFA.
“The government has nothing to do with the incident that took place on Saturday at the PFF headquarters. It wants the FIFA Normalization Committee should be given full time,” the minister told a news briefing here at Press Information Department.
“We’ve written a letter to FIFA to send its fact finding commission to Pakistan. We do not want the game of football to be ruined in Pakistan.
“We’ve told it [FIFA] that we want to resolve the issues of Pakistan Football Federation. The immediate ban [on Pakistan] is not a solution to the problem,” she added.
The minister said that sports were being damaged in Pakistan due to the personal interests of some individuals. “The mandate of the Normalization Committee is till June 30, this year. The government’s position is very much clear that the issue can be resolved in accordance with the mandate given by FIFA.
“I want the PFF and the Normalization Committee to sit together and resolve this issue amicably,” she maintained.
Fehmida noted that there was a tussle between personalities in football in Pakistan, which was putting a very bad impact on the game.
Parliamentary Secretary Saima Nadeem, Secretary IPC Mohsin Mushtaq, and DG PSB Col (retd) Muhammad Asif Zaman were also present on the occasion.
The minister said that the centre and the provinces would have to work together to revive sports activities at the grassroots level. “Grounds and gyms should be an essential part of the new housing projects to promote a healthy culture in the country,” she emphasized.
“Federations should also showcase their performance and ensure merit in the selection,” she said.
Replying to a question, she said that the appointment of DG PSB had been made in accordance with the law and rules. “There is no politics involved in it. His appointment has been made keeping in view the merit.”
She said those not meeting the merit had moved the courts.
Secretary IPC while seconding the minister said that the appointment of DG PSB had been made purely on merit in accordance with the rules.
DG PSB said that he himself had been a sportsperson and served in Pakistan Army for 32 years. “I have been in the field of sports for 12 years. I have accepted my appointment as a challenge and will do my best to promote sports in the country,” he said.