LAHORE  -    Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) President Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat has appealed to the Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan to save Pakistan football from suspension and disaster.

Addressing a news conference here on Thursday, Faisal highlighted that football was without patronage of the government and games ruling body FIFA and Asian body AFC are pumping in funds for the development of the game in the country. “The government never supported PFF rather the federation has always been getting the bulk of its funds from FIFA and AFC. If the support from FIFA and AFC stops, it will result in stoppage of football activities in the country because no other entity can afford footballing expenditures,” he said.

He said FIFA has 2011 countries as its member associations, who have to abide by the FIFA statutes, which is mandatory. “It has been seen in the past that footballing powerhouses like France, Nigeria, Kuwait and many more were banned by FIFA when its statutes were not given respect by overruling them. FIFA’s clear direction to its member associations is to follow its rules or otherwise part their ways.”

The PFF president said that soon after taking over the federation after 3 years, they held national tournaments according to upcoming international events. “The National Challenge Cup, Women Championship, PFF League, Pakistan Premier League and other events were held to prepare the national teams for international events. A series of international events were participated by our national teams, where they produced quite satisfactory results,” he added.

He said the elections of every statutory body are held according to its statutes, that was what they were being expected but unfortunately, it happened otherwise. “The PFF statutes have not been followed. Shoaib Shaheen, the returning officer for the PFF elections, clearly violated the PFF Statues, which was also brought to the notice of Honorable Supreme Court .”

Faisal said that during the last nine months, other than holding domestic events in an unprecedented number, they hired international coach and trainer from Brazil with the support of brotherly-country Bahrain. “We have also engaged a Brazilian women coach for our national women team. “With such efforts and facilities, our teams succeeded in excelling at international levels in 2018, showing historic performances in Asian Games, SAFF Championship and U-15 SAFF Championship,” he added.

“We have fixed deposits of Rs 18 crore and FIFA funds of US Dollars 7 lakh in PFF accounts. This amount only belongs to Pakistan footballers and football family given to us by FIFA and AFC for the development of football. The illegal occupation of the PFF house along with the accounts since 2015 caused a stoppage of 3 and half years to the football activities. Over PKR 3.5 Crore were spent by the body which was not recognized by FIFA along with the court appointed administrator which went unaccounted for and which were later on a hassle for us in the audit conduct by FIFA as well,” he informed.

Faisal also said that during the occupation of football headquarters and PFF accounts for over 3 years, two audits had been conducted by the administrator and no discrepancies were ever reported in the audit reports as there were none. To a query, he said: “It will be difficult to take part in elections as I am also bound by FIFA and AFC law, which is applicable to all 211 member associations of FIFA.”