KARACHI/LAHORE: The FIFA/AFC mission concluded its meeting with Pakistan’s football officials on Wednesday in what is largely expected to be the first step towards resolving the long-running dispute in the game in the country.

“A FIFA/AFC fact-finding mission was in Lahore, Pakistan yesterday and today to discuss with all parties and assess the situation as per the mandate of the FIFA Member Associations Committee,” a FIFA spokesperson told Dawn on Wednesday. “The mission is expected to submit concrete proposals for the way forward to the relevant FIFA body in due course.”

Pakistan football was involved in a legal dispute over its control for the last three years which came to an end following an election ordered by the Supreme Court in which Ashfaq Hussain Shah was elected as the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) chief. However, Ashfaq isn’t recognised by global football body FIFA which accepts Faisal Saleh Hayat as the legitimate head of the PFF.

On the second day of their meetings, the FIFA mission held a meeting with the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) officials including its president retired Lt Gen Arif Hasan and secretary Khalid Mahmood while also meeting both Ashfaq and Hayat for the first time. It came after the mission had met representatives from both Ashfaq and Hayat’s groups on the first day.

Ashfaq’s meeting came as a surprise after the PFF had announced that none of its officials would meet the mission following the mission’s refusal to meet its vice-president Sardar Naveed Haider Khan, who the Hayat faction had claimed was suspended from his post as the Punjab Football Association (PFA) president.

On Monday, they had sent their legal representatives Taha Alizai and Chaudhry Zulfiqar to meet the mission.

“I received a phone call from the FIFA-AFC mission desiring for the meeting so with the consent of the Congress members I went to meet them and it was a very productive meeting,” Ashfaq told Dawn.

Hayat was accompanied by officials including Sindh Football Association (SFA) president Syed Khadim Ali Shah, Rubina Irfan, Dr. Fazal-ur-Rahman and Mian Abdul Bari, The secretary of the Hayat faction, retired Col Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi was also present, meeting the mission for a second time in two days.

The POA did not offer any comment over its meeting with the mission.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2019

Opinion

Editorial

Back to bedlam
Updated 25 May, 2022

Back to bedlam

FEAR tactics have never worked in the past, and most likely will not this time either. The government’s ...
25 May, 2022

Balochistan blaze

THE forest fire on the Koh-i-Sulaiman range in Balochistan’s Shirani area is among a series of blazes to have...
25 May, 2022

Unequal citizens

INDIFFERENCE would have been bad enough, but the state’s attitude towards non-Muslims falls squarely in the...
Updated 24 May, 2022

Marching in May

MORE unrest. That is the forecast for the weeks ahead as the PTI formally proceeds with its planned march on...
24 May, 2022

Policy rate hike

THE State Bank has raised its policy rate by 150bps to 13.75pc, hoping that its latest monetary-tightening action...
24 May, 2022

Questionable campaign

OVER the past couple of days, a number of cases have been registered in different parts of the country against...