ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) president Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat termed Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict against so-called football organisers as victory of justice and a day to remember in Pakistan football history.

Talking to The Nation, Faisal said at one end, Arshad Lodhi and Col Farasat claimed they had backing of majority and on the other hand, they had filed petition in the Lahore High Court seeking delay in the PFF elections and also declared Sardar Naveed election as Punjab president null and void. “The LHC dismissed both their petitions Thursday. They must answer, if they have majority with them then why they want delay in PFF elections? The answer is quite simple, as they don’t have the required numbers to contest the elections, winning is a far cry.”

The PFF chief said that the people, who arranged so-called press conference in Islamabad, didn’t even know the ABC of football. “What is Kashmala Tariq’s football background and on what grounds, she has been terming herself as PFF women wing chairperson? For her kind information, the PFF women wing doesn’t even exists in the PFF. We have 18 committees working in PFF and women committee is one of them being headed by Senator Rubina Irfan, who has vast history of football and even she has given her daughters to this country.”

When asked the PFF elections would be held on June 30 as per early announcement, Faisal replied: “Off course, the elections will be held on same dates in Murree. It is mandatory to hold congress meeting prior to elections at least two months before the elections date as per FIFA and AFC rules. We duly informed the FIFA, AFC and POA about the meeting and the Electoral College notification was issued on April 24. The PFF has total 26 members including eight affiliated departments. We have given April 22 deadline to departments to send names of their representatives which they duly sent but three departments failed to do so, even they were sent final notice on April 22, but they failed again to meet the deadline. Now we have 23 members including three females, who will elect three vice presidents and 11-member executive committee on June 30, while FIFA, AFC and POA representatives will be present on the occasion to monitor election process.”

Faisal said: “I am surprised the so-called people claiming to be PFF officials don’t know rules and regulations of the PFF. There is no election for the secretary slot since seven years back, as we nominate paid secretary to run the federation’s affairs smoothly. We have required number of strength to contest elections and I never use backdoors for posts. I have worked for promotion of Pakistan football with commitment and best to my abilities and used my personal contacts, which resulted in getting hosting rights of a number of international events in Pakistan while many are in line in this regard.

“I enhance dailies of players, which was never heard before. Now players have jobs and enjoy other benefits, playing in leagues abroad and focus on playing football rather than thinking about earning bread and butter for their families,” he added.

When asked the PFF failed to complete FIFA Goal Projects in various cities of the country, Faisal replied: “We have total eight projects out of that Lahore project was completed in 2006/2007 while Karachi project completed last year and Abbottabad recently. Quetta project was handed over to the PFF recently. The Sukkur and Jacobbabad projects are completed 80 per cent and would be ready by the end of this year, Khanewal project is 60 percent complete, Peshawar project is 90 percent complete. The Peshawar High Court (PHC) gave ruling land on which the installed project was cancelled. Sahi Bagh Garden leased cancelled while agreement has reached with KP government and the building would be taken over KP government and they would allocate separate land where we would construct academy and they would also give federation compensation in next few months. More than 50 percent projects are completed while remaining will be completed this year or early next year. The FIFA allocated astroturf for Khanewal project which costs Rs 60 million. The FIFA also promised another astroturf this year which will be laid down in Karachi early next year.”

“I want to take Pakistan football to new heights and with the help of PFF family, I will succeed in doing so. I just focus on working for the betterment of football, raising standard of players and earning name and fame for the country at international level. Today Pakistan is enjoying commanding respect in football world just because of my tireless efforts and I see a bright future of it in coming years,” Faisal concluded.