Ex-Captain Muhammad Essa reveals he opted out of Asian Games

Thursday, 23 Sep, 2010

KARACHI: Former Pakistan football team captain Mohammad Essa, while reacting to a news item, has clarified that he has not been “dropped” from the Asian Games probables but has himself refused to play in the event due to his other obligations.

Speaking to Dawn on Wednesday, Pakistan’s highest goal scorer to date said that there was no question of exclusion or being dropped from the shortlist when he never even reported to the camp set up at the Punjab Stadium in preparation for the Asian Games, to be held from November12 to 27 in Guangzhou, China.

“I had been invited, not just once but three times, to attend the camp by the Pakistan Football Federation [PFF] but I politely turned down the offer,” Essa explained.

Essa, who was one of the 28 attendees of Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) License ‘C’ football coaching course held in Iran in May, also happens to be one of the five selected from that lot for the elite panel that is to attend a refresher course in Malaysia in November.

“I will be heading to Malaysia on November 1 to attend the refresher course and therefore won’t be able to represent Pakistan in the Asian Games that’s going to take place about the same time,” he concluded.