LAHORE   -   Punjab Football Association (PFA) congress members announced to support president of FIFA-recognized Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Faisal Saleh Hayat with overwhelming majority.

The decision was taken by PFA congress members during a reception held here on Friday in honour of Hayat after his election as vice president of Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Twenty one out of 37 PFA congress members were present on the occasion and they assured Hayat of their all-out support and cooperation for the betterment and development of football in Pakistan.

Vice presidents of Punjab FA Shaikh Khalid, Rana Shaukat and Iqbal Sheikh congratulated Hayat on being elected as first ever vice president of AFC from Pakistan. “Faisal Saleh Hayat has made history and no one from Pakistan has ever done it. Definitely, it has opened a new window of opportunity for Pakistan football.”

Hayat thanked the PFA congress members for giving him the honour and said that his election as AFC vice president must be of some benefit to the Pakistan’s football. “My election as AFC vice president is an honor for Pakistan, but if Pakistan’s football is not fully benefitted, it is of no use.

“It is very sad that the flow of development of football has again been interrupted, with a lot of serious efforts, we brought the game back on track when it remained halted for more than three years,” Faisal said.

“No country can progress in isolation without the backing of international football community,” he added. He also showed his keen interest in supporting Punjab’s football through the future opportunities created at AFC level.

In this meeting, detailed open discussions were carried out on the current worst ever situation of football in Pakistan. The possible ways forward for the restoration of football in Pakistan under the umbrella of FIFA and AFC without any third party interference were also deliberated upon.

A unanimous resolution was also passed at this occasion by the PFA congress members. According to the resolution, PFA congress members unanimously reiterate their all-out support to Faisal Saleh Hayat for Pakistan’s must retaining the membership in FIFA and AFC.

“PFA just honors and respects the statutes of FIFA, AFC and PFF while formation of parallel bodies is a blatant violation of PFF/AFC/FIFA Statutes and must be dealt with strictly in accordance with the statutes and rules and regulations of PFF/AFC/FIFA.

“Ashfaq Hussain-led PFF has announced the camp for forming the national team of Pakistan, which will take part in FIFA World Cup qualifiers. This activity is a blatant deception to players and football fans while they are rejected by FIFA and AFC on several occasion. This camp is an effort to play with the emotions and futures of young football talent of Pakistan,” the resolution says.

“In the review petition of FIFA-recognized PFF, Supreme Court has given the right to the FIFA-recognized PFF to go to the appropriate forum. The PFA members has welcomed this decision and hoped that this matter can be resolved at the forum of FIFA.”