PFF crisis brings forth curious case of missing footballsArchive
LAHORE: Footballs, worth millions of rupees, have disappeared from the store room of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) headquarters during its change of command in the wake of an Extraordinary Congress meeting of the country’s football governing body in Islamabad in June.
Well-informed sources told Dawn that 800 balls, worth Rs5,000 each, and 60 World Cup balls, which cost around Rs12,000 each, were in the store which is now empty.
With the PFF having split into two factions — one headed by Faisal Saleh Hayat and the other by Zahir Shah — prior to its June 30 elections, an Extraordinary Congress meeting was convened by majority of the members in Islamabad.
The Congress members expressed no-confidence over Hayat as PFF president and decided to appoint Arshad Khan Lodhi and Col Farasat Ali Shah as interim president and secretary to conduct the elections.
Days after that meeting, the acting setup took the control of the PFF House and Hayat’s staff was asked to leave the office. But as no formal handover took place and everything happened quickly, there is little proof on which PFF faction took away the balls.
The secretary of the Hayat group, Col Ahmad Yar Lodhi, admitted that footballs and other equipment were in the store room but as the rival group attacked the PFF House suddenly giving no time to his staff to handover the office to the interim setup formally, therefore the incumbent body is in a better position to tell the truth.
“Obviously, we can’t remove all the equipment in such a short time when around 150 people of the opposite group have entered the office, so, the acting setup is in better position to explain where it has gone,” Ahmad Yar Lodhi told Dawn.
Col Farasat, meanwhile, expressed his ignorance about the equipment and said there were maybe five or six footballs in the store room.
“They [Hayat group] are raising false allegations and as there was no proper handover ceremony when we took the control,” he told Dawn. “They can now say that goods in millions of rupees have disappeared.”
While footballs are missing, the status of the vehicles is very much known. Overall the PFF has seven cars with five in Hayat’s custody and two with Arshad.
“We have five cars in our custody of which one is still with Director competitions and development Pervaiz Mir who has resigned but his resignation hasn’t been accepted,” Ahmad Yar Lodhi said.
Farasat, meanwhile, said: “Two cars are in our care and anyone who needs a transport is using them.”
Sources also said that PFF’s official travel agent was running from pillar to post to get his payment amounting to Rs 2.2million but Ahmad Yar Lodhi said that all those dues had been cleared.
Meanwhile, an administrator appointed by the Lahore High Court (LHC) is likely to take the charge of the PFF House from the acting set up in next couple of days as per the courts orders.
“On Tuesday the written order of the LHC has been issued regarding the appointment of an administrator,” Farasat said.
The LHC appointed the administrator with the mandate to hold fresh elections of the PFF, besides also probing any misuse of the funds and power of the previous PFF officials.
Published in Dawn, August 5th, 2015
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