LAHORE - The FIFA mission members left for their destinations here on Wednesday night after meeting with different delegations in order to find the facts and reasons of football turmoil in Pakistan.

The mission, in the light of their meetings, will submit a comprehensive report to the FIFA concerned corners. The FIFA fact-finding mission, on the second and last day of their visit to Pakistan, held back-to-back meetings with the stakeholders of Pakistan football.

The reliable sources said that the FIFA missions started their today’s job with a surprise request of meeting by Ashfaque Hussain, president of PFF elected through elections held under the court orders, who taking a U-Turn met alone with the mission early in the morning on Wednesday.

Earlier, only a day ago, through a press release issued by Ashfaque Hussain, it was announced that they will not meet the FIFA mission until it allows Naveed Haider, suspended PFA president, to be included in their delegation, they added. 

“Ashfaque Hussain and his colleagues tried to pressurize FIFA to let them include Naveed Haider in their delegation. On failure, Ashfaque met the FIFA mission without Naveed Haider,” the sources said. It has also been learnt that on this issue, serious differences have been witnessed among Ashfaque and his allies.

The sources said that 15-members of FIFA-recognized PFF Congress, which constitute overwhelming majority of the bonafide congress, met with the FIFA/AFC mission. The congress members included the duly elected presidents of three provinces and Islamabad Region, besides chairman of referees committee Mian Bari, four women’s representatives, elected representatives of all provinces. SAFF and PFF senior vice president Syed Khadim Ali Shah and PFF vice president Mrs Rubina Irfan, Col (r) Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi and Shahid Khokhar also met with the mission in separate sessions.

PFF legal team comprising of Afzal Khan and Mustafa Irfan briefed the delegation on the legal issues. Chairman of constitution committee Saeed Khan briefed the mission on the progress achieved in implementing the FIFA given roadmap to PFF as per FIFA council decision. The members of the PFF electoral committee also gave detailed briefings to the mission on the need for strict adherence to PFF statutes in line with FIFA/AFC statutes, they added.

The sources said that FIFA-recognized PFF president Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat discussed in details the current situation with the mission and briefed them about the background of current football crisis in Pakistan. The possible solutions to the problems being faced by the country’s football were also deliberated in the meeting.

Another important meeting of FIFA mission was held with Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) delegation headed by its president Gen (r) Arif Hasan while secretary Khalid Mehmood was accompanying him. The POA delegation discussed the matter in the light of International Olympic Charter. It is pertinent to mention that the government of Pakistan through an MOU is bound to recognize only those sports organizations, which are recognized by their respective international bodies.

According to sources, the FIFA/AFC Mission have got a clear picture of those responsible for the crisis created by a few individuals having total disregard for the development of football in Pakistan, in violation of FIFA rules, and only to serve their own personal interests and expect to recommend to FIFA/AFC to come down hard on them.

These few individuals were also responsible for the illegal takeover of PFF house in 2015 which destroyed the careers of thousands of players, coaches, referees and others attached to the game, they added.

Meanwhile, football fans of Pakistan have urged FIFA to take strict action against these very elements, who have been holding football hostage to their personal whims, and let the internationally-recognised body handle in true manner football in Pakistan.