LAHORE - FIFA-recognised Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) secretary Col (r) Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi has urged convener senate special standing committee on national sports federation Senator Dr Ashok Kumar to resolve the PFF issue as per FIFA roadmap.

In his letter to Dr Ashok, Lodhi said: “PFF administrator Justice (r) Asad Munir had tried to mislead the committee by saying that the PFF has been suspended by FIFA due to third party interference and both the groups of Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat and Zahir Ali Shah had recently sent their respective teams to take part in Kuwait in an international event.

“While IPC minister Riaz Pirzada also tried to misinform the committee saying, the government did not interfere in PFF affairs, a certain mafia has been working in FIFA and we have to look for our interest and follow our own laws and PFF lead by Faisal Saleh Hayat (the FIFA-recognized body) is using FIFA funds for making heavy payments of legal fees to their legal counsels.”

Clarifying the above mentioned false and ill-founded information provided to the standing committee, the FIFA-approved PFF secretary said: “The statements of PFF administrator are factually incorrect, baseless and his own creation to mislead the committee and not let the PFF issue be resolved, so he may eat away FIFA’s resources at the cost of Pakistan football. On the other hand, FIFA had taken the appointment of Asad Munir as PFF administrator by Lahore High Court as a third party interference which the world football ruling body had already pointed out in its letter dated September 25, 2015 and a reply to Asad Munir’s letter, where he requested for funds and FIFA categorically replied by saying, ‘it did not recognize the administrator and that according to FIFA statutes, could lead to PFF suspension.

“The administrator very conveniently concealed this information from the Senate committee trying to save his own skin behind blatant lies. Moreover, FIFA, vide its letter dated October 10, 2017, has suspended the PFF due to appointment of PFF administrator by LHC and allowing him to operate the PFF accounts, which is taken by FIFA as a clear violation of article 14 and 19 of its statutes, according to which no ‘third party interference’ is admissible in the affairs of their member associations. The letter also clearly spells out that the PFF suspension will be lifted only once the PFF headquarters and the operations accounts are given back to Faisal-led PFF,” he added.

Lodhi said the IPC minister’s statement that the government did not interfere in the PFF affairs was also absolutely wrong. “The PFF is a private body without having any statutory status, as it had been affiliated with FIFA since 1948, which is a world football governing body of 2013 member associations. All the affiliated FIFA member associations have to fully comply the FIFA statutes and regulations failing which sanctions/suspension are imposed by the world football body.

“The PFF was also affiliated with Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) since 1964 and as of today stands disaffiliated with the PSB consequent to issuance of an SRO by IPCon June 11, 2014 due to the reason that the PFF had not amended its statutes/constitution in coherence with National Sports Policy 2015,” he added.

The Faisal-led PFF secretary said the FIFA had been continuously monitoring the PFF affairs, informed Pakistan government and PFF that FIFA takes the court-appointed PFF administrator and operation of PFF bank accounts by him as a ‘third party interference’ in the PFF affairs, which is a clear violation of FIFA statutes.

“FIFA stopped funding PFF immediately after the appointment of the administrator by the LHC, who also gave him the control of PFF bank accounts and PFF headquarters. FIFA had many times warned that if the PFF headquarters and accounts are not given back to Faisal-led PFF, the federation will be subjected to FIFA sanctions including a ban/suspension,” he added.

Lodhi said Faisal Saleh Hayat, using his influence at FIFA, managed to avoid FIFA suspension for over two years. “Since the PFF headquarters and its bank accounts had not yet been given back to Faisal-led PFF, FIFA was forced to finally suspend the federation on October 10, 2017, vide its letter, stating that suspension will only be lifted once the PFF headquarters and accounts are given back to Faisal-led PFF.

“Consequent to the FIFA suspension, PFF has lost its membership rights in FIFA, which resulted in no Pakistan team, officials, coaches and referees will be able to take part in any international competition both at international or domestic levels,” he added.

“The PFF suspension will only be lifted by FIFA once the control of PFF headquarters and accounts is given back to FIFA-recognized, legitimate body of PFF led by Faisal Saleh Hayat. Therefore, all stake holders must take measures to speedily implement the decision of FIFA by handing over the PFF headquarters and accounts back to FIFA-approved body. Moreover, it will be appreciated if all stakeholders only, including FIFA-recognized PFF, are invited in future by the committee for getting true picture about the PFF affairs,” Lodhi concluded.