Islamabad -  President of Young Rising Stars Women Football Club, Rawalpindi, Haji Ghiasuddin Baloch has demanded Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) minister Riaz Pirzada to immediately announce National Women Football Championship, which was last held in 2014.

Talking to The Nation, Ghias said: “It is my humble request to Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) president Lt Gen (r) Syed Arif Hassan to include both male and female soccer in National Games and also request the IPC Minister and PSB DG to include male and female soccer in 2nd Quaid-e-Azam Inter-Provincial Games starting in December. We are the worst effectees of the PFF infighting, as we were the providers of so much talent to not only departmental level but also at national level.  “We won the national women championships four times in a row. We provided 10 national and international women players, not even departments had that record. We never depend on stars, instead we produce raw talent and transform them into champions,” he added.

He said PFF suspension could be lethal for Pakistan football especially for females. “We worked very hard on finding fresh players, convinced parents to send their daughters to play soccer, assured them complete safety and facilities. Now after three-year gap, all our efforts were spoiled, as females had opted to join other sports, rather than waiting to see PFF infighting finally ends. It is very dangerous situation as far as future of women soccer is concerned.

“I request Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi, IPC minister Riaz Pirzada and all the stakeholders to sort out football issues. FIFA suspencionis not a good decision to be welcomed and those, who are hailing it, should reconsider their thoughts, as ultimately it is Pakistan football, which is at receiving end,” he added.

Ghias said the time is high when both Faisal Saleh Hayat and government must shun differences in the best interest of Pakistan and find viable solution to the prevailing crisis. The longer the suspension is, the more the frustration will be. The players will be left with no other option but to switch to either other sports or leave the country. “It would be a grave injustice to all those talented females, who had trained for hours, sacrificed their studies and even had to face lot of criticism from their families but they stood rock solid and never compromised on their passion of playing soccer.

“In our highly limited resources, we provide the best possible facilities to our players, arrange top coaches for them and ensure round the year training at different playing grounds. We are highly grateful to US embassy for providing us financial assistance for training purposes till 2013. I am optimistic that like US embassy, other high commissions and embassies will also lend a helping hand for the noble cause of women soccer. I also request multinationals and corporate sector to come forward and help women footballers so that they may continue this beautiful game,” he added.

He said until and unless Faisal and government sit together and find a viable solution to the prevailing crisis, PFF will remain suspended as the FIFA follows its rules and regulations very strictly. “It might be a blessing in disguise that FIFA has now just suspended PFF, it is highly likely that if the issue is not resolved and the PFF accounts and football house is not handed over to Faisal-led PFF, the FIFA can impose ban on the PFF. Then the players and Pakistan football will be ultimate sufferers.”

He also thanked World Health Organization (WHO) for holding the No-smoking All-Punjab Football Tournament last month. “The male and female events were held at Rajanpur and Islamabad respectively, which provided players healthy activity after a long time. I hope the WHO will also hold both events at all-Pakistan level and will surely hold another event on May 31 next year on World No-Tobacco Day,” Ghias concluded.



Mohsin Ali