LAHORE: Almost a week after the Pakistan Football Federation headquarters were sealed by the Lahore assistant commissioner, the court-elected PFF president Ashfaq Hussain Shah alleged that the Minister of Inter-Provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza was behind it.

Ashfaq’s PFF, which seized control of the PFF headquarters from the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee in a move that saw Pakistan suspended by the global football body, was thrown out of office last Sunday when the headquarters were sealed due to non-payment of its three-year lease to the Punjab government.

Ashfaq told Dawn on Saturday that he was filing a petition to seize back control but added that the manner in which the headquarters were occupied “on a weekly holiday shows it was the result of a conspiracy which was devised in the federal capital”.

Asked to name who was behind it, he added: “Fehmida Mirza is behind it and now we are going to court for a remedy.”

With the FIFA suspension continuing until the headquarters are handed over to the Haroon Malik-led NC, Prime Minister Imran Khan in September had instructed the IPC ministry to get the PFF headquarters vacated in order to resolve the PFF dispute which has plagued the game in the country for the last several years.

“We have no idea if any such instructions were given by the Prime Minister,” said Ashfaq, who was elected president in PFF polls conducted by the Supreme Court in December 2018 and has Special Assistant to Prime Minister Malik Aamir Dogar as his vice-president.

“The NC [which was appointed in September 2019] has wasted a lot of time in holding fresh elections of the PFF and is unacceptable to us,” he added. “We are ready to pay the lease amount, which is somewhere around Rs40,000 and we will move the court as well.”

Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2021

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