Imran eyes uplift of football, meets PFF candidate Dogar

Published November 29, 2018
PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Football Association (KPFA) president Zahir Shah attends a news conference to announce his candidacy for the upcoming Pakistan Football Federation elections on Wednesday. — INP
PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Football Association (KPFA) president Zahir Shah attends a news conference to announce his candidacy for the upcoming Pakistan Football Federation elections on Wednesday. — INP

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that all sports federations in Pakistan would soon have qualified professionals and no more favoritism or nepotism would be acceptable.

The Prime Minister stated this while talking to Malik Amir Dogar, a Member of National Assembly from his Tehreek-i-Insaf party and a council member of the Punjab Football Association, who met and apprised him of his resolve to contest the Pakistan Football Federation presidential elections next month.

Dogar announced his candidacy earlier this week after the Supreme Court ordered fresh elections of the PFF that are hoped to end several years of crisis plaguing the country’s football governing body.

The Prime Minister wished Dogar well and assured that the government had very serious plans to uplift the standard of sports in Pakistan and would come up with a very progressive and effective policy to ensure that Pakistani sportsmen once again make a mark at international level.

The Prime Minister said that the new Sports Policy would ensure a secured future for players, coaches and officials.

On the request of Dogar, the Prime Minister agreed to meet a football delegation comprising of players, coaches, referees and officials so that he could get first-hand information and input for development of the game in Pakistan.

The Prime Minister assured Dogar that he would task the Sports Directorate to put immediate plans to construct international standard football stadiums in all the major cities of the country.

The prime minister stressed the need to set up football academies all over the country and launch an extensive grassroots development and grooming programme.

Dogar suggested to the Prime Minister to approve the hiring of international coaches to impart training to the young talent all over Pakistan to which the Prime Minister gave an affirmative response.

On the request of Dogar, the Prime Minister agreed to invite the presidents of global football body FIFA and its Asian affiliate AFC to visit Pakistan and meet him soon. The Prime Minister who himself is a great sportsman strongly feels that an interaction at this level will help promote football and will create an effective and progressive relations between the governing Bodies and PFF.

Dogar entered the fray as a potential presidential candidate on the backing of Punjab Football Association (PFA) chief Sardar Naveed Haider Khan, a former ally of incumbent Faisal Saleh Hayat who has been in power since 2003.

Also on Wednesday, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Football Association (KPFA) chief Zahir Shah announced his candidacy. Zahir was another former Hayat ally who decided to stand against him in the controversial 2015 elections that mired Pakistan football into unprecedented crisis.

Zahir met Dogar in Islamabad on Tuesday and while the latter’s camp said they had agreed to fight the elections jointly, the former said there was still some way before a consensus was reached.

FIFA, which had asked Hayat to hold elections by March 2020 has been seeking more information from the PFF regarding the Supreme Court order to hold elections.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2018

Editorial

27 Nov 2021

Supporting ECP

ALTHOUGH the government bulldozed legislation on electronic voting machines through parliament, the reality is that...
27 Nov 2021

Forgiving the Taliban

IF there is one takeaway from Thursday’s gathering of more than 1,000 Shia Hazaras in Kabul, it is the call given...
Living in fear
Updated 27 Nov 2021

Living in fear

THE registration of a blasphemy case against four members of a family from a village on the outskirts of Lahore has...
26 Nov 2021

State Bank’s projections

THE macroeconomic projections listed by the State Bank of Pakistan in its annual report on the nation’s economy...
Ad distribution
Updated 26 Nov 2021

Ad distribution

If present govt can muster will to achieve this task it would set a solid precedent that no future govt would find easy to undo.
26 Nov 2021

Messy passengers

NEWS that passengers on a PIA flight from Manchester to Islamabad left so much litter on the plane that it led to a...