KARACHI: Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) clubs Muslim FC, Afghan FC and Pak-Afghan Clearing Agency FC will not be allowed to host any matches in their hometown Chaman this season due to safety concerns and poor playing conditions.
Their ties will now be played in Quetta — a decision that has forced them to rethink a strategy to earn revenue which, otherwise, would have come from the sale of tickets.
A Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) official said many clubs have welcomed the decision as last year, they were forced to miss away matches in Chaman and lose vital points.
However, Muslim FC coach Muhammad Dawood, who helped the team win the bronze medal last season, lamented the decision.
“Removing Chaman as a venue is unfair,” Dawood told The Express Tribune. “Instead of helping us improve the playing conditions, they took away our home ground and shifted it to Quetta. It’s unfair because we won’t be receiving any ticket revenues that help us run the club.
“Quetta is a good place to play but we have more than a thousand people coming to watch our matches in Chaman. And this will only disappoint our fans. It will hurt our finances too. We are a small outfit with immense talent but we lack money or resources. Taking matches away from Chaman will also discourage many upcoming footballers.
“Now we just have to desperately look for sponsors if this continues in the PPFL.”
The PFF made the decision because last season, Muslim FC were given 12 walkovers because teams failed to show up at the venue in Chaman.
Tournament director Pervaiz Mir said the federation decided to shift the venue to prevent more walkovers in the league.
“Teams will have no excuses this time around,” said Mir. “From this season onwards any team who fails to turn up at the venue will be relegated from the PPFL instantly and will be penalised Rs100,000.
“As for Chaman, if the local clubs can arrange better facilities next year, we will reconsider it as a venue again.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2013.
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