Pakistan Football Team May Visit Bahrain Ahead Of Asian Games
Pakistan Football Team May Visit Bahrain Ahead Of Asian Games: In order to get some practice matches ahead of the Asian Games, Pakistan football team is expected to tour Bahrain next month.
Senior officials of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) are expected to hold meetings with football governing bodies of Bahrain and other nations during FIFA World Cup which will explode into action in Moscow from June 14.
The PFF President Faisal Saleh Hayat, Secretary General Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi and PFF Congress member Robina Irfan will grace the opening ceremony of the World Cup. According to a PFF official, if the tour is arranged then Pakistan will go to Bahrain in mid-July for a few matches.
“Bahrain tour is very much possible,” he said. He added that Bahrain has some good clubs and playing with them will enable Pakistan to have good match practice ahead of the Asian Games slated to be held in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 2.
The Asian Games draws are yet to be unveiled. As per rules of the continental event, the participating nations may field the under-23 team, along with three senior players, in football competitions which will begin from August 14 in four different cities of Indonesia.
This will be the biggest football event in the history of the Asian Games as 32 teams will be vying for the title. The outfits will be bracketed in eight groups of four teams each. The leading side from each group will progress to the quarter-finals.
Sources said that besides arranging a tour of Bahrain, the PFF is also trying to finalize a deal with any other country so that some more matches could be given to the brigade.“You know training tours are very important as Pakistan have not played international football during the last three years,” he said.
Soon after the Asian Games, Pakistan will move to Bangladesh to feature in the SAFF Cup which will be held from September 4-15.
In the SAFF Cup, Pakistan have been clubbed in Group A with the former winners and hosts Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. The green-shirts will begin the title quest with their opener against Nepal on September 4. This will be followed by their encounter against Bangladesh on September 6 and Bhutan on September 8.
The seven-time winners and defending champions India are in Group B with former winners Sri Lanka and Maldives. Afghanistan, a former SAFF member and 2013 edition’s champion, has joined Central Asian Football Federation (CAFF) and is not part of the SAFF event this time.
The 30-member team will be taken abroad for training also including some senior players who will be used in the SAFF Cup. The senior players need practice along with the Asian Games as SAFF Cup is also important.
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