KARACHI: Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee chairman Humza Khan on Wednesday said that his body was working to hold elections of the country’s football body as soon as possible and that the coronavirus pandemic had impacted plans.

In a news release, the PFF NC quoted FIFA’s statement — exclusively reported by Dawn — on Wednesday in which the global football body said it had seen “encouraging developments” made by the committee. And Humza said the statement was a validation of the work being done by his body.

“The FIFA statement is a validation of the work the PFF Normalisation Committee is doing to fulfil our mandate of bringing football back on track in Pakistan. I would like to reiterate that we want to hold elections as soon as possible and leave the PFF to the elected representatives,” he was quoted as saying.

Humza said the PFF Normalisation Committee had a lot on its table since it took over in September and added the virus had only added to their problem. “The formal election process is expected to start as soon as the health risk is over,” he said.

Last week, the PFF Normalisation Committee announced that it was reconstituting the provincial normalisation committees and Humza added that it was done to “replace members with alleged links” with any of the football stakeholders.

He added that the virus and the resultant lockdown had impacted plans for the men’s and women’s national teams as well as the Pakistan Football Federation League (PFFL) season.

Dawn reported last week that the men’s football team risks missing out on action for the entire year with the two tournaments it was to take part in this year — the SAFF Suzuki Cup and the AFC Solidarity Cup — at the risk of being postponed.

“The PFF Normalisation Committee will make sure that football activity returns as soon as the situation is safe,” Humza added.

With FIFA having placed health as its first priority, Humza said that the PFF Normalisation Committee was working with FIFA partners World Health Organisation (WHO) to combat the coronavirus by launching an awareness programme.

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2020

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