Pakistan Football Federation’s Normalization Committee gets another extension

Pakistan Football Federation’s Normalization Committee gets another extension, leaving football in limbo

The Normalization Committee (NC) of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has been granted another extension by FIFA, despite concerns raised about the delay in handing over control to an elected body. Former Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Fawad Hasan Fawad had urged FIFA to ensure the PFF elections were held by March 15, emphasizing the impact of the prolonged process on football in Pakistan. However, FIFA has extended the NC’s tenure well into 2024.

The sitting NC, led by Canadian National Haroon Malik, received a third extension, surpassing the duration of an elected body’s tenure. Despite requests for a five-month extension, FIFA granted a significantly longer period, prolonging the committee’s stay. The reasons for this extended extension remain unclear, leaving many questioning FIFA’s decision-making process.

Shahid Khokhar, a member of the NC, acknowledged the previous stakeholders’ involvement in the committee and expressed confidence in resolving the situation within the year. However, the ongoing delay in the electoral process has hindered the development of football in Pakistan, particularly at the club level where talent is nurtured for national recognition.

The lack of recognized club activities has limited opportunities for young players to showcase their skills and progress to higher levels of competition. The absence of a structured system for talent identification and development has hindered the growth of football at the grassroots level, leading to concerns about the future of the sport in Pakistan.

Despite challenges and setbacks, efforts are being made to streamline player data and improve the overall system for long-term benefit. However, the continued delays in the electoral process have raised doubts about the effectiveness of the Normalization Committee and its impact on the development of football in Pakistan.

As the football community awaits further developments, the need for timely and decisive action to address the issues facing the PFF remains a top priority. The future of football in Pakistan hinges on the successful transition to an elected body and the implementation of effective strategies to nurture talent and promote the sport at all levels.

Denis Hardin

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