KARACHI: Pakistan captain and American club Tulsa Roughnecks FC striker Kaleemullah has called on FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to clean up the infighting within Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) that has waged on for a year-and-a-half now.
After the AFC Solidarity Cup became the latest in a long line of opportunities that Pakistan has missed out on due to the dispute between FIFA-backed Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat and Lahore High Court-appointed Asad Munir, Kaleemullah has emotionally asked the world and continental football bodies to step in.
“FIFA and AFC should take notice and understand that football and footballers are suffering here,” Kaleemullah told The Express Tribune on his return to Pakistan following a break from the United Soccer League.
“Both groups fighting for the office are equally bad. They did nothing to develop the sport; we don’t have a single stadium with an international standard pitch. Enough is enough.
“FIFA and AFC should intervene and bring in a new set of professionals to save football.”
Kaleemullah also questioned Hayat and Munir’s right to govern the sport, considering neither of the two played professional football.
With Pakistan’s football ecosystem running dry, the Chaman-born forward plans to organise a Peace Cup in his hometown from October 26, but says the real target should be to get the national team up and running again.
“We can hold as many local events but what good would it do when the national team isn’t playing,” added Kaleemullah.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2016.