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Thursday Apr 01 2021
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PFF dispute: Pakistani footballers say FIFA ban would destroy their careers

National footballers Saadullah, Hajrah Khan and Kaleemullah. Photo: Files 

  • National footballers Kaleemullah, Saadullah, Hajrah Khan and Abiha Haider express disappointment at incidents and developments in PFF.
  • Kaleemullah says only losing party in this situation is Pakistani Footballers.
  • Abiha Haider says football field has been made a political hub and no one actually cares about players and their hard work. 


KARACHI: With a FIFA ban looming over Pakistan Football, the national men’s and women’s football team players have demanded the authorities to have mercy on them and let them play the sport they love.

National footballers — Kaleemullah, Saadullah, Hajrah Khan and Abiha Haider — expressed their disappointment at the incidents and developments in Pakistan Football Federation as they fear their careers were being jeopardised.

“This will damage image of Pakistan football in the world. The only losing party in this situation is Pakistani Footballers,” said Kaleemullah who has scored over 100 professional goals.

Read more: Pakistan faces possible isolation from int'l football after Ashfaq Shah refuses to give up PFF control

“There are thousands of players who have their bread and butter attached with this game, a ban would mean that these players will become jobless and their careers are destroyed. I request Ashfaq Hussain to handover the PFF affairs to NC and request NC to start election process so that things are settled amicably,” Kaleem told Geo News.

Pakistan national team’s striker Saadullah echoed Kaleem’s thought and said the only way out for Pakistan Football is Ashfaq Hussain group hands over PFF administration to NC

“They should all collectively work for betterment of football,” Saad appealed.

Read more: Ashfaq Hussain-led PFF resumes National Women Football Championship

Abiha Haider, 25-year-old mid-fielder of Pakistan’s national women football team made an emotional appeal to FIFA and football authorities in the country.

“I am very sad, very disappointed. I have no words for this political fiasco. The football field has been made a political hub, no one actually cares about players and their hard work. We give everything on field, we leave our everything — family, education and professional life — for football, for our love for the game,” Abiha, who was representing Highlanders football club in NWFC, said.

“This is very shameful for us that we are on verge of getting banned. We have so much uncertainty, I request you all kindly have mercy on us, please let us play, please save football. I wholeheartedly request everyone that we want to play, let us play,” she appealed.

Hajra Khan said that the current situation is disappointing and disheartening for all the players.

Read more: FIFA warns Pakistan of suspension over 'illegitimate occupation' of PFF headquarters

“We are on verge of getting banned by FIFA as a country which means we will not be able to represent Pakistan internationally in Football. We have worked hard for years, we are disappointed. I want to tell them that please respect the game and respect the players,” she said in a video statement posted on her social media accounts.