KARACHI: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has opened disciplinary proceedings against K-Electric, nearly six months after Dawn exclusively revealed that the Pakistani champions were in peril following a bungled player transfer.

“Disciplinary proceedings have been opened and the case will be dealt with by the AFC Disciplinary Committee at its meeting on June 30,” an AFC spokesperson told Dawn on Tuesday.

The case first came to the fore in January when Asia’s football governing body contacted the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), inquiring about International Transfer Certificates (ITC) for two British-based players of Pakistan origin — Shani Abbasi and Irfan Khan — who had taken part for K-Electric in the AFC Cup Qualifying Playoff in August last year.

An ITC is generated by FIFA’s Transfer Matching System (TMS) and requires details and documentation to be fed into the system so the player’s registration can be transferred between the two countries — in this case between the PFF and English Football Association (FA).

While the AFC refrained from further comment, a person with the knowledge of the situation — who refused to be named — told Dawn that there wasn’t an issue with Shani but the case now revolves around the signing of Irfan who was registered with the FA.

“K-Electric have told the AFC that they’ve not tried to hide anything,” said the source. “They’ve also told the AFC that this was an issue the Asian body should’ve told them about before they were registering Irfan for the AFC Cup Qualifying Playoff.

“K-Electric have also said that the AFC officer who registered the players should be held equally responsible.”

K-Electric won two match round-robin qualifying playoff for Asia’s second-tier club competition in Bhutan.

However, they fell Bahrain’s Al Hidd in a one-off playoff match in February — missing the chance to become the first side from Pakistan to feature in the AFC Cup.

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2016

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