Lahore, 19 October: It is said that the youth are the future of a nation. Give them a good foundation; you can be sure that the nation will enjoy quality leadership and a peaceful society in the future. Under the brilliant leadership of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, PFF is in full swing as far as Youth Development through Football (YDF) program is concerned and Pakistan WAPDA have picked several players from Pakistan U13 and U14 team that visited Iran in 2009 and 2010. WAPDA Sports Board (WSB) has set up an endowment fund for its athletes with an initial capital of Rs. 100 million, benefiting around 71 players (15 of which footballers) of nine different games.
The prominent among them is Faisalabad-born Muhammad Bilal who slammed two goals when Pakistan overpowered India 4-2 on 19 May 2010 in the AFC U14 Festival of Football at Al Quids Stadium, Municipality Sports Complex, Hamedan City (Iran). Bilal also represented Pakistan U13 team when AFC U14 Festival of Football 2009 was staged at Sari, located in the north of Iran, near the Caspian Sea. Also of Faisalabad, Tanzeel Ashfaq , Rashid Noor plus Sargodha’s Hassan Mujtaba , Mudassar Iqbal are also being picked for the scheme.
Tandlianwala-born left winger Rashid Noor got the honor of firing the lone goal as Sahiwal managed 1-0 win over NWFP to win the final of National U13 Festival of Football at Model Town Football Academy (MTFA) Ground on 6 February 2009. Other ten footballers in the list are Ahmed Saleem Shad, Rao Omer Farooq (Sargodha), Usman Ashfaq (Lahore), Salman Khan, Obaid Ullah Anwar (Peshawar), Adnan Khan (Sukkur), Muhammad Yousaf (Khuzdar), Muhammad Inam (Gujranwala), M. Osama Younis (Hyderabad) and Nafees Rasheed (Faisalabad).
Model Town FC’s coach Syed Qasim Raza, who is also Coach/Supervisor of all selected 15 footballers on behalf of WSB, said that the WAPDA Endowment Fund for Sports scheme was launched to improve the standard of sports across Pakistan and all selected 15 footballers are born on or after 1 January 1996. WAPDA Endowment Fund for Sports has been established with an initial capital of Rs. 100 million.
Besides imparting training and coaching, Rs.5000 monthly scholarship for extra diet and education will be awarded to each trainee. Medical facility at respective WAPDA Hospital as well as transport facility (pick and drop for training venues) will also be provided to the selected youngsters under the scheme. Meanwhile, WSB has announced that trials for selection of the second batch will last until December 2010 in all the major cities of Pakistan.