LAHORE: Former Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) technical director Col Mujahidullah Tareen has criticised the overall process adopted by the federation in holding its presidential elections on June 30.
The former Pakistan captain said that there had been widespread controversy which marred the elections of the provincial football associations.
“No elections were held in Sindh and Punjab while Abdul Rauf Nautezai [who was elected Balochistan Football Association (BFA) chief on a coin-toss] has not recommended the three voters whose names are mentioned in the electoral list issued by the PFF recently.
“The disputed elections of Punjab and Sindh have also been challenged in the court of law. If that is not enough, a convicted Dr Fazal-ur-Rehman has been allowed by the PFF to contest the elections of Islamabad Football Association (IFA),” he said.
“The same person has been convicted by the PFF in a corruption case by incumbent PFF president Faisal Saleh Hayat in 2009, but he was allowed to contest the elections. But the same treatment was not given to another convicted one Nasir Karim, from Sindh.”
Mujahid worked under Hayat from 2004-2007 and was behind the successful holding of the first edition of the Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) before quitting the post after differences with the PFF chief.
He said that FIFA rules were not being violated during the holding of elections and said three departments Police, Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) might be deprived of participating in the elections at the pretext of sending their nomination after the deadline of April 20.
“According to rules, the last date must be May 15 for the nomination papers but due to ill intention, the PFF set the last date for April 20,” he said. “Similarly, the three women voters would be elected during the elections meeting to cast their votes. It’s a mockery of the election rules.
“Meanwhile, from Balochistan, Mohammad Usman, Ayyaz Zahoor and Mir Mohammad Jan Marri have been recommended to cast the votes but those names were not sent by the elected president of the province, Nautezai.”
Mujahid said Nautezai had travelled with Hayat to Bahrain for Thursday’s AFC Congress and said that the elections were being used by the PFF chief as a tool to bribe voters.
“Principally, only Hayat and PFF secretary Col Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi had to attend the AFC Congress but eight persons have been obliged by them as they have been taken along to Bahrain and most of them are voters for the PFF elections.
“Lodhi signed a cheque worth US$85,000 to bear the expenses of those joy-riders but later sent a letter to the bank that the cheque had been lost, instructing it not to make a payment against it, fearing that there might be accusations against them.”
He added that the aggrieved parties in Sindh and Punjab had challenged the elections and brought them into the notice of FIFA.
“They have the right to move to the court too as the PFF is also fighting a case in the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) for two-term restriction in the national sports policy,” he added.
With Hayat facing a stern challenge to retain his presidential seat from his former ally and government-backed Zahir Ali Shah in the June 30 elections, Mujahid said the PFF chief should not forget that he also came into power through government’s support.
“I, Brig Arif Siddiqi, Arshad Khan Lodhi, Zahir Shah and Brig. Asad Munir all witnessed how the government and its agencies helped Hayat to be elected as president in 2003,” Mujahid said.
So far, 19 voters out of 26, have been cleared to cast the vote in the PFF elections.
Voters: Balochistan: Mohammad Usman, Ayyaz Zahoor, Mir Mohammad Jan Marri; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah, Mohammad Nauman, Mohammad Saleem; Punjab: Sardar Naveed Haider Khan, Arif Rahim, Ijaz-ul-Haq; Sindh: Syed Khadim Ali Shah, Saleem Sheikh, Anwar-ul-Haq Qureshi; Islamabad: Dr. Fazal-ur-Rehman; Women champion club: Rubina Irfan; Departmental members: Army, Navy, Pakistan Air Force, Wapda, Railways.
Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2015