Our focus is only on football: Saddam

Midfielder insists national squad is unaffected by ongoing controversy

Natasha Raheel June 21, 2015
Midfielder insists national squad is unaffected by ongoing controversy. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: With the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) embroiled in controversy over the past week due to the political tug-of-war between the existing set-up led by Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat and his opposition in Arshad Lodhi and Farasat Ali Shah, the players only want to focus on playing football and improving their game.

Pakistan midfielder Saddam Hussain, who returned from Kyrgyzstan’s FC Dordoi earlier this year, said that the players were not interested in getting involved in the politics plaguing the federation.

“There has been a lot of talk about the uncertainty surrounding the PFF, but as a player it doesn’t affect me,” Saddam told The Express Tribune. “We’ve got nothing to do with the PFF elections or anything regarding that. All we are concerned about is getting the opportunities to play.”

The 22-year-old, who is currently playing with Pakistan Premier Football League club KRL, believes that the domestic football infrastructure is far behind in comparison to other countries and that there needs to be consistent efforts to ensure that the domestic leagues improve.

“Although the PFF has helped us throughout and Hayat has stood by us at all times, we are far behind in the overall infrastructure and professionalism at the local level.”

He added that for him and other players, all that matters is the development of football in the country.

“I don’t know who will be in the office or how the elections work, but I know that the federation’s sole purpose is to work for players and promote its talent, so I hope the officials remember that.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2015.

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