LAHORE: Sardar Naveed Haider Khan was on Saturday elected president of the Punjab Football Association (PFA) after a sweeping 23-13 vote in his favour in the polls held by Supreme Court’s appointed election commissioner Ali Raza.

It marks a step towards resolving a three-year dispute over the genuine body of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF).

The election came after the Supreme Court last month ordered fresh elections of the PFA and the PFF to resolve the matter once and for all.

Sardar Naveed was the candidate fielded by Faisal Saleh Hayat, the PFF president who is recognised by FIFA. Now, Ali Raza will hold the PFF elections in the next two months.

Alongside Sardar, five vice-presidents were elected including Rana Shaukat Ali (Attock), Raja Ishtiaq (Rawalpindi), Sheikh Khalid (Narowal), Mohammad Naeem (Vehari) and Sheikh Iqbal-ur-Rehman (Bahawalpur).

“We will soon announce a comprehensive activity programme to start the football activities at the grassroots level,” Sardar told Dawn.

“A league, featuring all nine divisional teams of the province, would start in the month of October. Competitions for youth and women at district and provincial levels would also be started soon.”

The election took place after some controversy was raised by members of his rival group that the election commission formed by Ali Raza wasn’t impartial. They also said that since Sardar Naveed had never been associated with any district body or any club, he couldn’t contest the election.

Sardar Naveed refuted those claims. “I have been organising the PPL Balochistan Cup for the last three years,” he said.

Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2018

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