(Reuters) – Hajra Khan, captain of the Pakistan women’s soccer team, has called on Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi to support the players in times of crisis after FIFA suspended the national federation of the sport due to third-party interference.
FIFA said on Wednesday that its decision to suspend the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) had been prompted by “hostile occupation” which amounted to a serious breach of its statutes. In a post on Instagram, Hajra said it was embarrassing for a country led by Imran, a former cricket captain who won the World Cup in Pakistan, to be banned by “the world’s most-followed sport body ”.
“There is still hope and we expect a response from you both,” he said in a video posted to Alvi and Imran on social media.
“We expect the country to support us when we need them most at the moment. It is an application, it may no longer be humble, but it is an application. (And) it’s a necessity. It all depends on you. ”
A group of football officials led by Ashfaq Hussain Shah, elected by the Supreme Court in 2018 to run the PFF but not recognized by FIFA, took over headquarters last month and seized control from the FIFA Normalization Committee (NC) ) led Haroon Malik, reported local media.
FIFA said the suspension will be lifted only after it has received confirmation from the FC that PFF’s buildings, accounts, administration and communication channels are again under full control. Hajra wants the country’s leaders to act quickly as the political turmoil in the PFF could spell the end of many careers. “I’m speaking for me and all those footballers whose hard bread came from the sport,” said Hajra.
“We have worked hard, with blood and sweat, to represent this country. We’ve taken it to the podium, we’ve won championships in the past. Where are we going next? What sports are we changing for? ”