ISLAMABAD: A senate panel on Wednesday called for promotion of football at grassroots level, directing the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) to submit a plan on what steps should be taken to uplift the standards of the world’s most popular sport in the country.

The Senate Special Committee for Promotion and Development of Football met here at Parliament Lodges with Senator Dilawar Khan in the chair, with the committee members of the view that there is urgent need for promotion of this game, which has been facing constant decline.

Senator Mirza Mohammad Afridi said that financial issues and lack of patronage were main reasons behind the downfall of the game, in Pakistan. He proposed that a football league on the lines of cricket’s popular Pakistan Super League (PSL) should be started. Senators Rubina Khalid, Dr. Asad Ashraf and Ahmed Khan also suggested various proposals for uplift of football in Pakistan.

Officials of the FIFA-appointed PFF Normalisation Committee were in attendance at the meeting. Global football body FIFA appointed a Normalisation Committee to oversee the affairs of the game in Pakistan following several years of turmoil in the country’s football governing body.

The Senate committee sought the details from the Normalisation Committee over the US$2.5 million, which have been provided by FIFA. A Pakistani football promoter, settled in South Africa, also attended the meeting and said that for proper promotion of the game, there is need of resources and infrastructure development. Chief Operating Officer of World Group also briefed the committee about their contribution for promotion of the game.

Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2019

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