KARACHI: Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat accused his opponents Arshad Lodhi and Col Farasat Ali Shah of being ‘sports terrorists’ at a press conference on Sunday.
While speaking to The Express Tribune, Hayat said that Arshad and Farasat raided the PFF headquarters on Saturday evening, forcing secretary Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi and the PFF staff to leave the building.
According to Ahmed, the offices were attacked by 200 men accompanied by Arshad and Farasat, who staked claims at the headquarters as president and secretary, posts which came as a result of being elected by the Extra-Ordinary Congress in a meeting which took place on Tuesday in Islamabad.
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“Its sports terrorism,” said Hayat. “It’s absolutely unconstitutional and more importantly, what does it say about these people. If this is how they will run the federation then should one forget about discipline and fair play altogether?”
Hayat added that there is no legitimacy to Arshad and Farasat’s claims as both individuals have been suspended by the PFF and banned by FIFA.
The chief added the PFF elections would take place as planned on June 30. “Elections will be held on schedule. They can take over the building, but they aren’t recognised by Fifa or the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).”
According to Hayat, he has been in constant touch with FIFA and AFC officials, updating them about the situation. He added that there are signs the Punjab Sports Board is backing the other group.
“I’m sure the group is being backed by the government because no one can just break into the building as it is located in a sensitive area,” explained Hayat, while saying that he would go to court and take legal action against them.
Read: Sports board: 'Do not interfere in football federation's affairs'
“These people took over the building, claiming they have the majority of the congress behind. If that is the case then why did they appeal in the Lahore High Court for a delay in the elections?”
Meanwhile, The Express Tribune tried to contact Farasat but was unable to get a response.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2015.
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