By our correspondent
LAHORE: Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) Normalisation Committee on Thursday unveiled Pakistan Football Connect programme, a revolutionary stakeholder registration and management system powered by FIFA.
“I want to congratulate the community on the launch of the Pakistan Football Connect
programme,” NC’s chairman Haroon Malik told a news conference at Lahore. “We now have a way to ensure that no stakeholder in Pakistan football is left unregistered or uncounted. This is the foundation of a robust system that Pakistan football was searching for and after many decades, we now have it,” Haroon said. The FIFA Connect Programme helps football associations across the world organize their football in a more systematic and transparent way.
Each stakeholder including clubs, officials, players, coaches and referees are registered digitally and issued a unique FIFA ID. This code is like a digital football passport number and has the information of the history of each stakeholder.
In practice this means that a player’s Connect ID, for example, will store their performance data such as which competition they’ve played in, which clubs have they represent, how they’ve performed, so on and so forth. Similarly, a referee’s involvement, performance and experience can be tracked – and subsequently, their training and posting opportunities decided on merit.
Pakistan Football Connect programme is headquartered in Karachi with dedicated staff working to facilitate the registrations of various football stakeholders across Pakistan.
“For the ease and comfort of the football community in Pakistan, we have introduced the Urdu version of the programme alongside the English version. Through such facilitation in the system we hope to remove any accessibility barriers that the community may face. Club organizers will be able to work in a language they are comfortable with. They can also contact the officials concerned through a dedicated help-line and find information and guidance in English, Urdu and regional languages as well.”
“The NC has been trying to revolutionise football structure in Pakistan by registering the clubs, academies, associations, universities and schools under “FIFA Connect ID” program. The PFF is also planning to institutionalise futsal, beach and other formats of football including E-football and will not only promote them but also provide proper support to further popularize these games,” Haroon said.
NC Committee member and Pakistan Football Connect officer Saud Hashmi, meanwhile, said that “Pakistan Football Connect” office in Karachi will provide every possible guidance to all the stakeholders timely so that the registration process may be completed well in time. “The NC is trying to compile an authentic record of the football family of Pakistan including players, referees, coaches and club organizers,” he said.
“We also compile a complete data of professional, amateur, junior and club players. The complete process will be completed in a fair and free manner and merit will be our top priority. The genuine stakeholders will be fully supported while the fake clubs, officials and players will be weeded out. We have also laid the foundations of a fair structure through this system based on FIFA Connect ID and it will help in conducting the PFF elections in a fair and transparent manner,” he added.
Hashmi added that the entire system will be established and maintained in a professional way and it will help in attracting maximum sponsors for players and football of Pakistan. “Football is the most played game of the world and it has all global corporate giants on board across the world. In Pakistan too, we will popularise in such a way that it will be the first priority of Pakistan’s corporate giants as well,” he said.