Footballers to protest FIFA after Eid: Inside scoop from The News

Former and Current Footballers to Protest Against FIFA’s Handling of PFF Situation

Former and current international and national footballers in Pakistan are preparing to stage a protest against FIFA, particularly targeting the appointed Normalisation Committee (NC) that has been overseeing the country’s football affairs. The demonstration is scheduled to take place in front of the National Press Club in Islamabad following Eid-ul-Fitr. The athletes are discontent with FIFA’s unwavering support for the NC, despite its failure to meet the requirements for holding PFF elections.

Mohammad Essa, a former Pakistan captain, expressed frustration with the situation, emphasizing that the NC’s actions have led to the deterioration of football in the country. The absence of a Premier League for the past five years has further fueled their determination to protest against FIFA’s handling of the issue. Essa highlighted the lack of response from FIFA to stakeholders’ concerns and called for a transparent audit of the NC’s financial dealings.

The footballers believe that the NC chairman, Haroon Malik, has neglected Pakistan’s domestic football and favored offshore players and coaches to the detriment of local talent. Essa accused Malik of financial irregularities and profiteering at the expense of Pakistani footballers and their families. In response, the athletes are mobilizing a legal team and seeking state involvement to address the issue.

Essa outlined their plan to meet with Prime Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif and involve relevant authorities, such as the anti-corruption unit, to investigate the NC’s actions. The lack of funding from FIFA in recent years has compounded the challenges faced by players, coaches, and their families, prompting the footballers to take a stand against the governing body’s neglect of Pakistan’s football development.

The protest is aimed at drawing attention to the detrimental impact of the NC’s prolonged tenure and FIFA’s failure to address the crisis in Pakistan’s football administration. The football community’s united front signals a determination to confront the issues plaguing the sport and demand accountability from those responsible for its mismanagement.

Denis Hardin

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