Photo: File
Photo: File

Pakistan Football Federation Normalization Committee (NC) Chairman Haroon Malik has said that FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) are satisfied with the ongoing football affairs in Pakistan.

He expressed these views while talking to journalists on the occasion of the opening ceremony of the National Challenge Cup.

Haroon Malik said that first football should be started and then elections should be held, we have to do the work of the past several years and until the court cases are over we cannot give any schedule for the Pakistan Football Federation elections.

He said that those protesting against NC should be patient, we will conduct clean and transparent elections and give them a good system. After two years, the National Challenge Cup has started. The men’s and women’s teams are participating in several future events that have been scheduled.

Haroon Malik said that after two years, the National Challenge Cup has started, the players, coaches, administrators are happy, those protesting against the functioning of NC are cleaning up the mess of many years if all the work is done on time. So we should have held the election long ago, until the court cases are over, the Pakistan Football Federation cannot schedule the elections.

He said that the delegation of FIFA and AFC was on a visit to Pakistan in the past few days, they expressed their full confidence and satisfaction on the free and fair work of our PFF elections, they have agreed to settle our football ground. The effort is greatly appreciated.

He further said that the Challenge Cup is being played at different grounds, where apart from Shahzad Anwar, the coaches are also monitoring the performance of the players, this event is taking place on a home and away basis. The performance we have shown is in front of everyone, I congratulate him, if our foreign players had received their passports on time, we would have won the first position.

Earlier, the National Challenge Cup 2023 started, the special guests of the colorful opening ceremony held at Karachi Port Trust were Commissioner Karachi Muhammad Iqbal Memon, PFF Normalization Committee Chairman Haroon Malik, members Shahid Niaz Khokhar, Saud Hashmi, ex-Test. Cricketer Iqbal Qasim, Coordinator Sports Commissioner Karachi Ghulam Muhammad Khan, footballers, officials and organizers were also present in large numbers from the football community.

A minute’s silence was observed in memory of the late legendary footballer Ali Nawaz Baloch. On this occasion, Commissioner Karachi Muhammad Iqbal Memon said that football is the most popular game in the world and there is a large number of its fans in Karachi, especially in Lyari. Very enthusiastic about football, hope that the normalization committee will create the best opportunities for the youth to express their talents, if the players are provided with proper training and facilities, they can shine the name of Pakistan at the international level.

He said that he assured the normalization committee that they will work together for the promotion of football in Karachi. NC Chairman Haroon Malik said that participation of 27 departments in the national tournament is an encouraging development.