ISLAMABAD: While uncertainty prevailed over the Pakistan Football Federation’s elections, its FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee took a step towards the body’s much-awaited polls. On Friday, NC chairman Haroon Malik announced the elections for the District Football Associations will be held from May 15.

Haroon made the announcement in a joint press conference with Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination Ehsanur Rehman Mazari here, adding that “the major work” was done with clubs from 163 out of 172 districts registered with the PFF.

Haroon and his NC’s mandate ends on June 30 but he said it was impossible to conduct the PFF elections before that. However, he said it was up to FIFA to decide if it wanted to extend it.

Before the press conference, Haroon had held a meeting with Ehsan, his secretary Ahmed Hanif Orakzai and the Pakistan Sports Board’s acting director general Mohammad Abrar.

Ehsan said it was necessary for the PFF to have an elected body running it to ensure the resumption of FIFA’s funding to the federation. While talking to Dawn, the minister said he was satisfied with NC’s progress towards the polls and that certainty regarding the district elections was a positive thing.

“Let me make it clear, the elections of PFF will be held during my tenure as federal minster,” he said. “I am making an all out effort in this regard as the country’s footballers have been suffering in the absence of an elected federation.”

On February 21, the IPC minister had asked the NC to announce a date for the PFF elections in a week’s time, warning that the government may approach FIFA over the matter.

It may be under the IPC ministry’s pressure that the Haroon-led NC announced the dates for the district elections.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2023

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