ISLAMABAD: A senate panel was informed on Friday that the FIFA-appointed Pakistan Foot­ball Federation Norm­alisation Committee could take up to four months to complete club scrutiny before the elections of the country’s football body will be held.

PFF NC member Saud Hashmi told the Senate Special Committee during its meeting on ‘The Promotion of Football in the Country’, with Senator Faisal Saleem Rahman as the convener, at the Parliament House on Friday that a date of the elections would be decided once the scrutiny process — the first step towards holding the polls — is completed.

The PFF has been mired in crisis and controversy since 2015, which prom­pted global football body FIFA to appoint the NC in September 2019 to oversee football affairs in the country.

The NC has had a rocky ride since being appointed and Pakistan was suspended after a group of officials led by Ashfaq Hussain Shah seized control of the PFF headquarters in April last year.

The ban was lifted in June this year when the Haroon Malik-led committee regai­ned control of the headquarters and the NC reiterated it will hold the elections during the timeframe it had agreed with the government.

The committee was apprised by Pakistan Sports Board regarding the efforts for promotion and development of the sport.

PSB director general Mohammad Asif Zaman told the committee that the total funds allocated to PFF out of total budget for sports activities in the last 20 years is around Rs137, 261, 950 and Government of Pakistan has made 32 football arenas in all the provinces and 250 more sports arenas are in pipeline with football grounds having been made part of these projects.

The convener of committee also opined that Inter School Sports competition should also be started so that the children of tender age could take keen interest in football and for this purpose invited the Education ministry and Higher Education Commission in the next meeting.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2022

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