NC chief's new narrative is to blame past PFF setups for incompetency.

KARACHI -- Their demeanor is such that it seems the officials of the Pakistan Football Federation Normalisation Committee feel they are a godsend for the sport in the country. Now, they're talking like that too.

Speaking in defence of the Pakistan Football Connect ProgrAaAmme for club registration - the first step towards holding the elections of the PFF, NC chief Haroon Malik was a tad brash. The extensive Connect PrograAmme has provoked the ire of the grassroots officials and stakeholders - those who are expected to contest the elections whenever they are held by the PFF NC - but Haroon is vocal in saying he isn't at fault.

'If the PFF had done their job regarding registration and scrutiny of the clubs over the past 75 years, I wouldn't have needed to do this,' Haroon told reporters on the sidelines of the opening game of the National Challenge Cup at the KPT Stadium here on Tuesday.

The question remains whether freshly-registered clubs will get a right to vote. The PFF ConstitAution states that a 'club will be considered active and shall be eligible for voting at the annual general body meeting only if it has taken part in at least 90 % matches of the District League championship and has also participated in the District Football championship'.

Organising district events will mean further delay in the club registrations with the PFF NC having only last week launched the mobile unit shuttle service for the Connect Programme to reach out clubs in far-flung areas. The Haroon-led NC has claimed that it will hold elections according to the timeframe set by the PFF Constitution once the registration process for clubs, who vote at the district level is completed. Haroon stated the same on Tuesday but said the court cases against the PFF NC were impeding the election process.

But the happenings elsewhere tell otherwise.

On Monday night, the recently-appointed PFF disciplinary committee announced a five-year ban on Abdul Mannan, who had filed a civil suit against the PFF NC chairman in Quetta. The disciplinary committee stated that ManAnan had failed to appear before it after having been issued a show cause notice. It added that in his reply to the notice, Mannan had submitted a withdrawal order of the suit.

Similar show cause notices, a copy of which is available with Dawn, were sent to Mohammad Naeem and Sheikh Iqbal ur Rehman, who had filed petitions against the PFF NC in the Bahawalpur Bench of the Lahore High Court. The legal department...

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