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ISLAMABAD: The Senate Special Committee on "The Promotion and Development of Football in the Country" asked the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) to start Inter-School Sports competition so that the students of tender age could take keen interest in football and for this purpose invited the Education Ministry to the next meeting.

The Special Committee met with Senator Faisal Saleem Rahman in the chair at the Parliament House on Friday.

At the outset, Senator Rahman lauded the Pakistan Women Football team over their victory against Maldives in SAFF Women's Championship.

Muhammad Asif Zaman, DG PSB, told the committee that the total funds allocated to Pakistan Football Federation out of total budget for sports activities from last 20 years is around Rs137,261,950 and the government of Pakistan have made 32 football arenas in all the provinces and 250 more sports arenas are in the pipeline and football grounds have been made part of these projects.

In addition to that, representatives of Provincial Sports Departments informed that in Punjab, there are 69 football grounds and the total budget for football is around Rs200 million. There are 25 football grounds in Sindh, and 97 in Baluchistan. Sindh spends around 10 to 20pc of their annual sports budget on football. Senator Rahman sought details of football grounds, located in KPK, from KPK Sports Department in the next meeting.

Deliberating on the issues faced by the Pakistan Football Federation, Mubashir Rafiq, member of the Senate committee, raised the recent incident of Pakistan Futsal players who went to participate in Futsal World Cup but were deported back from Dubai airport because they were planning to flee to Argentina.

Muhammad Asif Nawaz stated that due to last episode of Syed Ashfaq Shah, which resulted in ban on Pakistan Football Federation, things went sideways but the ministry has formulated a "New Sports Policy" and after its implementation players will not be able to leave the country without prior approval from the Ministry of Interior and Foreign Affairs. The convener directed the ministry to conduct inquiry of the matter and present report before the committee at the earliest.

Moverever, the senate committee also discussed the matter regarding the election of president of Pakistan Football Federation. The DG Pakistan Sports Board told that after the recent episode of Syed Ashfaq the FIFA has formulated the four members Normalisation Committee which is currently scrutinizing the football clubs across the country and a date for the election will be decided once it is completed. Senator Afnan Ullah Khan inquired that how long will it take to complete the scrutiny. In reply to that, Saud Hashimi, member of the Normalization Committee, informed that it will be completed in four months. Senator Afnan also suggested that the provincial sports board should also be made part of the process.

The meeting was attended by Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Senator Khalida Ateeb, Senator Afnan Ullah Khan,Ahmed Kakar, VP, QCCI, Mubashir Rafiq, Anas Trunkwala, Owner, World Group, Secretary IPC Ahmad Hanif, DG Pakistan Sports Board Col Muhammad Asif Zaman (retired), and other concerned officers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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