Gold Cup camp cancelled

KARACHI: The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has cancelled the camp for the Sri Lanka Gold Cup 2010 due to the indefinite postponement of the tournament.

The tournament, due to feature eight south-Asian teams, was moved by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) after requests from participants who wanted to concentrate on the upcoming AFC Challenge Cup 2012 due to start in March.

“Although it wasn’t a big tournament, we were still looking forward to it,” PFF Secretary Ahmed Yar Lodhi told The Express Tribune. “We were counting on the event as Pakistan had a good chance of gaining experience before the Challenge Cup.”

The PFF is now targeting the AFC Asian Cup 2015 and Lodhi feels that the team needs to do well in the AFC Challenge Cup to stand a chance of participating in the continent’s biggest football event. A win in the Asian Cup would then help the winning team to qualify for the Fifa Confederations Cup.

“We have the time and resources to prepare for the Asian Cup, and to get good results in the Challenge Cup. First we brought in Graham Roberts as the team consultant, and now we’re offering him the coaching job. It’s because we want Pakistan to improve and with Roberts’ plan we see hope for the team in the Challenge Cup.”

Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2010.