KARACHI: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday overturned the Lahore High Court (LHC) double bench's decision to reinstate Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat as the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) president, which once again threw the sport's future in a limbo.
After nearly two years of infighting between Hayat and his rivals — including Arshad Lodhi and court-appointed administrator Asad Munir — the February 2 decision of LHC gave a glimmer of hope to Pakistan's embattled football community.
However, the decision was first interpreted differently by the two parties before being challenged in the apex court, bringing the lengthy legal wrangle back to square one.
The Supreme Court, after accepting Lodhi's appeal, ruled that the 2015 PFF elections that Hayat had won stand null and void. It also directed Munir to continue as the federation's administrator and hold new elections.
“The decision prolongs our suffering. The court’s decision is above all of course, but the new elections will take time. Our football has already suffered insurmountable damage — our national teams haven't participated at international level for a long time; football as a career has ceased to exist," national coach Hassan Baloch told The Express Tribune.
“Once the new elections dates are revealed in 15 days' time, the candidates will announce their nominations; it's a tedious and long process. The crisis is far from over.”