KARACHI: Pakistan’s representative on the AFC’s Disciplinary Committee, Syed Nayyar Hasnain Haider was to have no influence as the body met on Thursday to discuss the case involving Pakistan champions K-Electric.

“Syed Nayyar doesn’t rule on cases involving Pakistani parties,” an AFC spokesperson told Dawn when asked if his presence on the disciplinary committee was against world’s football body FIFA’s new governance regulations as he is the brother-in-law of Faisal Saleh Hayat.

Hayat is recognised by FIFA as the president of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) even though the Lahore High Court (LHC) has said that he isn’t the country’s football chief.

The K-Electric case finally went up for discussion by the AFC Disciplinary Committee, nearly six months after Dawn exclusively revealed that the Pakistani champions were in peril following a bungled player transfer.

The case first came to the fore in January when Asia’s football governing body contacted the PFF, inquiring about International Transfer Certificates (ITC) for two British-based players of Pakistani 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).

Dawn had been told by a club source that while 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 won the 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.

The AFC hadn’t made a decision on K-Electric till the filing of this report.

“The meeting hasn’t finished yet,” the AFC spokesperson told Dawn, adding that it will inform about the decision “when it becomes available and when the relevant parties have been informed”.

There was also no information from the club on the decision till the filing of this report.

Governance rules

If Nayyar, who is also on FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee, was to rule on the case, it would’ve created a potential conflict of interest due to him being from Pakistan.

With his relationship to Hayat, Nayyar’s position could come under scrutiny due to FIFA’s new Governance Regulations as he sits on one of the standing committees which require independence.

According to the FIFA’s Governance Regulations — announced in February as the scandal-tainted world body looked to come out with a clean look after months of turmoil -- the standing committee members have to be “independent”.

“‘Independent’ means, with respect to any person, that neither such person nor any member of such person’s immediate family, at any time in the past four (4) years preceding such person’s initial term and during such term: a) is or was a member of the Council or of the executive or supervisory board of any confederation or member association; and b) has or had a material financial relationship with FIFA, any confederation or any member association; and c) is or was a paid official of FIFA, any confederation or any member association,” it says in its regulations.

On ‘immediate family’ or ‘immediate family member’ it elaborates: “It means, with respect to any person, such person’s spouse or domestic partner, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, children (including any stepchild or adopted child), grandchildren, son-, daughter-, father- or mother-in-law and the spouses of such persons, and including anyone else, whether by blood or otherwise, with whom the individual has a relationship akin to a family relationship for which such person provides financial support.”

When Dawn enquired about whether Nayyar and Hayat’s relationship is against the regulations, a FIFA spokesperson told Dawn on Wednesday that the world body “would revert back in due time”.

There was nothing on this issue by FIFA till the filing of this report.

Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2016

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