Karachi: The ongoing National Women Football Championship in Karachi was called off after Syed Ashfaq Shah-led group took over control of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) offices in Lahore on Saturday.
A late night message from PFF Normalisation Committee (NC), following the development, informed the media about cancellation of the ongoing tournament ahead of today’s quarter finals.
“2021 National Women's Football Championship has been cancelled,” the PFF media manager said.
Earlier, the PFF-NC spokesman told media that its office in Lahore was attacked by Ashfaq Shah and his group, adding that the PFF staff was physically harassed and were held hostage.
“The group has taken over the PFF house,” the spokesman had said.
While there was no official reasoning provided by the PFF for cancellation of the event, it is understood that following the hostile takeover, the powerless NC was left with no choice.
Meanwhile, the decision has left the players disappointed. They have requested the authorities to let the tournament continue.
“If only we can complete this tournament right now and not let all our hard work, efforts and sacrifices go in vain,” midfielder Abiha Haider wrote on Twitter. “Months of training; resigned from two jobs right before tournament so I could stay here for a month. And now this. DISAPPOINTED.”
WAPDA players Sahar Zaman and Syeda Mahpara also posted a video message on social media expressing their disappointment.
“I want to request all my fellow players from every single team to please raise their voice and join us in requesting the officials that this championship should be allowed to complete because we all are here in Karachi, away from our families for the sake of football and to win this championship,” Sahar said.
“It is heard breaking for us to hear a day before the Quarter Finals that championship isn’t going ahead. Whatever is going on in PFF is all about power, people do not care about players, they don’t care about their future, or their passion but we had it and we have been dying to play this championship.”
Syeda Mahpara, in the same video, requested the authorities to let the championship continue given it is just three steps away from its end. “You may do whatever you want to after this championship is concluded,” she said.