ISLAMABAD, Feb 03 (APP):Football affairs in the country are set to get back on track as the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee would regain the control of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) headquarters in Lahore in two weeks.
“The committee constituted by Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) to resolve all the issues has successfully engaged all stakeholders. Now, all the issues have been resolved on merit and the process of elections in PFF will also start soon,” Minister for IPC Dr Fehmida Mirza said at a news conference along with FIFA Normalization Committee’s (NC) chairman Haroon Malik at Press Information Department on Thursday.
“I have talked to Chief Secretary Punjab today about handing over the PFF offices back to NC. It will take two weeks’ time,” the minister said.
The Punjab government in November, last year seized control of the PFF headquarters from Ashfaq Hussain Shah’s PFF, which came into power following an election held on the orders of Supreme Court in December 2018. Shah’s PFF took over PFF offices from Haroon-led FIFA’s Normalization Committee (NC) in March last year, alleging they did not honour the mandate. Following the takeover, FIFA suspended Pakistan’s membership.
“Hopefully, FIFA will soon lift the suspension and we will head towards PFF elections in next six to seven months. It is heartening that football activities will fully revive in Pakistan,” the minister said.
Fehmida said youth should be given opportunities to participate in sports and showcase their skills and talent at the national and international levels.
Speaking on the occasion, Haroon Malik said, “I am thankful to FIFA for its constant support. The minister for IPC also played a key role in resolving the issue.
“The credit also goes to all NC members for their principled stance and patience. Hopefully, things will move forward now.
“I am hopeful FIFA will lift the ban from Pakistan after the return of FIFA offices,” he added.
According to Haroon, the NC tried to involve all stakeholders of PFF as per its commitment. He said the committee also wanted to promote football in the country. “Hopefully, along with PFF offices, we will also get back digital and physical assets,” he said.
He said soon after lifting of FIFA ban, the NC would start the process of clubs’ registration.
To a question about PFF election, he said its timeline was given in the federation’s constitution. “The cutoff time is 163 days but right now I can’t give an exact date. The timeline will begin after we get control of PFF offices along with physical and digital assets as well as when the FIFA suspension will be lifted.”