PFF invites footballers to hear out grievances, suggestions

Faizan Lakhani
Players of the men and women football teams express their grievances. Photo: AFP

The Normalization Committee of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) recently invited players of the men and women football teams to hear their grievances and ideas to improve the state of sport in the country.

According to a spokesman of PFF, the players openly expressed their concerns and shared their ideas, opinions and suggestions with Hamza Khan, the chairman of the committee, who ensured that all possible efforts will be made to bring improvements to the sport in the country.

"The meeting, held via video conference, was aimed to address players’ concerns and to make them feel safe and secured. Hamza invited the players and listened to them and assured them of all possible measures to protect their interests," the spokesman said.

PFF spokesman further said that players highlighted a lack of infrastructure, professionalism, pro leagues and quality competition. The players also spoke about financial issues due to the ongoing pandemic.

Women footballers also demanded attention for their segment of the sport and highlighted the importance of having more practice facilities.

Hamza told Geo Super the idea behind inviting players was to make them realise that they can be heard. 

"These are not optics, these are basic requirements of any sport, and the national team players deserve respect. We are setting an example for everyone. Everywhere in the world players are heard by bodies but here things were different. We tried to change the perception here,” he said. 

"We want to change the status of football. The federation is also answerable to players and they are our primary responsibility."

Hamza confirmed that players were worried about activities and their main concern was about the limited numbers of matches.

"Another issue raised by players was their financial problems, and we will try to make something for them. We have a limited mandate but we'll do whatever is possible," he said.

He further said that former captain Kaleemullah suggested a system of central contracts but added that such a system needs to have regular competitions.

"We want to set an example for anyone who will succeed us at the helm of affairs in PFF. The officials should do their best to support the players who are the driving force behind the success of any sport," Hamza said. 

It is pertinent to mention that some of the participants of the meeting were Hajra Khan, Sahar Zaman, Abiha Haider, Maria Khan, Malika Noor, Fatima Ansari, Saddam Hussain, Yousuf Butt, Ahsanullah, Hassan Bashir, Mohammad Riaz and Mohammad Waheed.

PFF invites footballers to hear out grievances, suggestions