- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

ISLAMABAD (AP) - The battle for power in Pakistan soccer is expected to get more complicated as voters could split at two different venues next Tuesday to elect a president of the Pakistan Football Federation.

Acting PFF secretary Farasat Ali Shah claims that at least 14 of the 26 voters will turn up at Lahore - which will be enough to legitimize the PFF elections.

During an extraordinary general council meeting last week, the PFF suspended its president Faisal Saleh Hayat and secretary Ahmad Yar Khan Lodhi for alleged financial embezzlement and mismanagement. Arshad Khan Lodhi was appointed as acting president.

Hayat, who has chosen the hill resort of Changla Gali to organize parallel PFF elections, questioned the appointment of Shah and Arshad Khan Lodhi in local media and described them as “non-entities” in the federation.

Shah and Arshad Khan Lodhi were among 20 officials banned by the PFF after attempting to form a parallel provincial body against the official one during the Punjab Football Association elections in April.

Shah believes the majority of the voters will cast their votes in Lahore on Tuesday and the elections will be supervised by the top ruling sports bodies of the country - the Pakistan Olympic Association and the Pakistan Sports Board.

“We know they have chosen a different venue for the elections but when the majority turn up in Lahore, I am sure it will be counted as genuine elections,” Shah told The Associated Press on Friday.

Both factions said they had written to the Asian Football Confederation to send a representative to monitor the elections.

Hayat told reporters on Wednesday that there will be an AFC observer at Changla Gali, while Shah is hopeful another AFC representative will come to Lahore.

“I can’t speak for the other faction but we have written to the AFC and hope their representative will monitor the elections in Lahore,” Shah said.

The AFC said in a statement on its website on Wednesday that it was supporting Hayat’s faction. Hayat has been PFF president for 12 years.

“The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has taken note of recent developments in the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) and has been closely monitoring the situation based on available information,” the AFC said. “The AFC supports the democratically and legally elected PFF EXCO, and condemns any form of unsporting maneuver whether this is against FIFA, AFC or PFF statutes, or against national law.

“The AFC plans to be present, as per normal procedure, as observer at the elective PFF General Assembly scheduled for June 30, 2015.”

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