KARACHI - The ongoing tussle between Pakistan Football Federation and former captain Kaleemullah reached an ugly turn on Tuesday when Kaleem accused an official of the PFF.

The PFF continued to intimidate former captain Kaleemullah and embarrass itself as they sent out a show-cause notice to him for simply speaking his mind and for ‘not appreciating’ the national team at the South Asian Football Championship (Saff) where Pakistan lost to India 3-0 in the semi-final.

Kaleem posted a screenshot of a tweet, allegedly posted from the account of Sardar Naveed Haider Khan – vice president of PFF, posing a threat to the former captain.

“If Kaleemullah can justify his transfer to the Turkish Club as per FIFA Regulation then I will standup with him and support him, if not then hang him for his lies and deceit,” the tweet said.

Kaleem, with the screenshot of tweet, said “How dare you threaten me after serving this country for so long? PFF has given me nothing. I have worked hard and gotten myself here.”

However, the tweet couldn’t be found on the timeline of Sardar Naveed Haider’s account. It is assumed the tweet was deleted after so much criticism. Naveed has however denied posting any such tweet.

“This is fake tweet and a conspiracy to malign me, I never posted this tweet,” Naveed told Geo.tv. “I have always treated him as a younger brother and I interacted with him like a brother on social media but it was taken out of context and now I am out of this controversy. It is between Kaleemullah and PFF.” Naveed added that he will file a cybercrime case over posting of the fabricated tweet. He, however, admitted posting another tweet shared by Kaleemullah, but said that it was taken out of context and he was addressing him like a brother.

The PFF had earlier sent a show-cause notice to Kaleemullah for his statement in the media against the federation.

While Kaleemullah had been constantly showing his support through social media platforms before and after every match of the Saff Championship, cheering his former teammates, despite being sidelined from the national team because he spoke about the inconsistencies of the PFF and the fact that the federation had failed to built even one international standard stadium, the PFF left no stone unturned to make an example out of him.

The letter says, “violation of PFF code of conduct and discipline’, while addressing Kaleemullah as the ‘ex-national footballer’.

The letter said that no officials or players or managers are allowed to talk to the media about the PFF affairs, but it contradicts itself when they call Kaleemullah an ‘ex-footballer’. The federation quoted their Article 2 for the violation, then went on to say that Kaleemullah was not ‘appreciative of the team’s performance’ at the Asian Games, where the U23 team lost to Vietnam 3-0 and Japan 4-0 only winning a match against Nepal 2-1, which was Pakistan’s first win in 44 years at the games, and also making a statement against PFF while Pakistan were playing Saff Championship. In reality, Kaleemullah had only been supportive of the team. Both claims by the PFF are invalid to begin with.

Kaleem had only spoke out about the PFF when the federation’s Vice President and the controversial president of Pakistan Punjab Association Sardar Naveed called him a ‘traitor’, ‘selfish’, ‘greedy’ and unpatriotic for choosing to play in Turkey, without verifying that Kaleem went to the National team camp in Lahore and was told by the officials that he can join in later with the overseas players.

“I’m asking the PFF to explain why Haider called me a traitor, called me greedy, they should explain that first,” Kaleem was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

He said that he did not receive the letter directly even. “My former club K-Electric forwarded me this letter by the PFF. The Federation sent the letter to them because they did not have my contact, so I got it after three days of its issuance, I’m surprised,” Kaleem said.

“I stand by my statements, I’m not backing off. After the camp in Lahore I knew I may not get a spot in the team, I thought PFF was parting ways with me, and I quietly walked away, till I was called unpatriotic by their officials, only then I spoke up,” he added.

He said that the lack of facilities and unprofessional attitude of the federation has only pushed the players back instead of helping them progress forward.

“Even if Messi comes in with Barcelona FC to play in Pakistan, they will not play the same way, because we have bad pitches, we don’t have player insurance, we don’t have professionals that run the federations, I’ll say what the truth and they have a problem with it. It is my right to say this, to tell them to improve the system, I’m not talking against the team, I’m talking against the system,” said Kaleem.

The PFF has given him the deadline to explain his comments in the media till September 29, but the Chaman-born striker concluded: “What explanation do they want from me, I’m not under any contract with the PFF, I’m not getting paid by them, they have just called me an ex-national footballer.”

 Why are they asking for the explanation from me. I need them to explain this treatment. I need them to clarify this behavior. I don’t think any of the players know about the code of conduct either. I’d like them to explain it.”

The letter also said that Kaleemullah’s case can be taken to PFF’s Disciplinary and Ethics committee, that does not run according to the Fifa statutes. The names of the officials in the current disciplinary committee are not known either.