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KARACHI: Former Pakistan’s assistant coach Nasir Ismail has urged the Normalisation Committee to start running football and working towards holding PFF elections while establishing an office for itself anywhere in Pakistan.
“I think if nothing is being done on any front then the NC should establish its office and start running football events, managing national teams foreign tours and also taking steps for ensuring the PFF elections within the stipulated period,” Nasir told ‘The News’ in an interview.
“The NC’s Canada-based chairman Haroon Malik should come to Pakistan and handle the affairs or he should be immediately sacked by FIFA and appoint any person from the NC members as chairman in his place in order to save Pakistan’s football from further damage. FIFA should consider this thing seriously,” Nasir said.
“I am surprised why FIFA gave an extension to NC if it cannot do anything for the country’s football,” Nasir questioned.
“We have seen in the past that in a similar situation former PFF president Faisal Saleh Hayat bravely handled Pakistan football while establishing an office. He kept sending teams abroad despite huge problems at home due to parallel PFF. I think the NC should follow Faisal and restore some normalcy to Pakistan’s football,” said Nasir, also a head coach of Masha United.
He said that due to wrangling among various factions football suffered a lot and it’s time to take some substantial steps to save the sport which feeds thousands of families.
It is pertinent to mention here that Ashfaq Group has occupied the PFF headquarters in Lahore early this year which also has forced FIFA to suspend Pakistan.
Pakistan is currently serving suspension and it cannot send its teams abroad for any international event.
Similarly the Premier League is also in doldrums and it’s a huge issue for the country. Ashfaq Group is going to hold the Premier League but it will not be recognised by FIFA.
Nasir said NC should also pay to the clubs which featured in the National Women Championship held in Karachi early this year.
“NC is yet to pay to several clubs. NC should take immediate steps to clear dues of the clubs which featured in the National Women Championship,” Nasir stressed.
Nasir said some hypocrites are a nuisance for the country’s football.
“There is immense politics. Karachi United withdrew from the National Women Championship when Ashfaq Group took control of the PFF affairs. And now the same KU is going to feature in the Premier League which Ashfaq Group is going to hold next month. What can you expect from these people?,” Nasir said.
“I will never indulge in any kind of politics but will speak for football and footballers. Being a coach I understand that players suffered the most. If we are unable to take an immediate step to restore normalcy to our football then it will further damage the sport. We have lost a complete seniors batch during the last six years and it would be much tougher to form a competitive team for international commitment,” Nasir said.
“Our several age-group players also missed AFC events and they are now nowhere. Its a huge issue. Our grassroots football faced a huge damage,” Nasir explained.
The IPC minister Dr Fehmida Mirza is serving as a mediator to resolve the football issue. She held several meetings with the stakeholders and NC but so far no concrete step has been taken towards resolution of the dispute. FIFA has said that it would only lift Pakistan’s suspension when NC will write to it that it has got complete access to the PFF headquarters and accounts.
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