SAFF Women Camp comprises seven Young Rising Star girls

National Women Football Champion, Young Rising Star from Rawalpindi

Lahore, 15 November: Skipper Sana Mehmood, top scorer Malaika Noor, goal keeper Syeda Mahpara and Sahar Zaman, who assisted the first goal in the final of the 6th National Women Championship final are among probables called for SAFF Championship National Women Camp alongwith other YRS players Asmara Kiyani, Roshnan Ali and Rozina Ghazi. 2008 Gold Medallist Nabila Hashmi, an Afghan National and one of their skilful players, was not included in the probables.

South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) is all set to organize women´s football among its member nations from 3-13 December 2010 when Bangladeshi Town Cox’s Bazar will host inaugural SAFF women Championship. Women football was included in the 11th South Asian Games for the first time last year to promote the development of football in South Asia. Sahar Zaman, Malaika Noor, Mahapara were in the Pakistan squad that visited Dhaka under Ishrat Fatima.

The quartet played instrumental role when they overpowered Pakistan WAPDA 2-0 on 25 August 2010 in the final of sixth National Women Football Championship to win the top prize at Islamabad’s Jinnah Stadium. The local club created history as they became the first team in Pakistan to win the National soccer title twice. It was another fanastic day for their stopper Sana Mehmood who was also skipper of the team when Rising Star outkicked the same opposition two years ago in the final.

It may be recalled that Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) implement two-year ban on Young Rising Star Women Football Club’s President Ghias Uddin Baloch, coach Shahid Ahmad Khan and Assistant coach Asma Tehseen on 16 October 2009 after PFF has unearthed the club went on foreign tour last year, overlooking SOP/Instructions laid down for such tours abroad, clearly breaching the PFF Code of Conduct and Discipline. “In view of the magnitude of the offense and in order to establish deterrent precedent for other like-minded people in the larger interest of football and PFF, the punishment has been recommended,” said Pakistan Football Federation Disciplinary Committee (PFFDC) Chairman Naseeb Ullah Khan Bazai.

The three suspended officials will not be able to take part in football related activities till 15 October 2011. PFF, however, for the promotion and uplift of women football in Rawalpindi and Federal capital, showed clemency and allowed the club to continue their run in football activities. YRS is a team organized by the US Embassy in Pakistan as part of a 2007 State Department Youth Enrichment Program (YEP) and they won the National Championship in second attempt a year later.

“Any PFF-affiliated team intending to go abroad need No Objection certificate (NOC) from PFF and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) but Rawalpindi-based YRSWFC overlooking the necessity of NOC while visiting Washington DC to experience soccer in the United States, a tour arranged by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Sports United office from 9-18 April 2009,” said PFF’s Secretary General Lt.Col ® Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi.

PFF rightly took notice of violation of PFF Code of Conduct and Discipline (2d) stating “Breach and evasion of rules, regulations, orders and instructions” and PFF Administration Cell sent the case to Nasib Ullah after club’s office bearers failed to convince PFF with their explanations on 22 April and 10 May 2009. In the meantime, on 26 May 2009, PFF suspended three officials from all football-related activities till finalization of their case by PFFDC. However, for the promotion of football, PFF won the hearts of soccer enthusiasts by allowing the club and ten visiting girls to play second and third National Women Club Championship and 5th and 6th National women Championship under stand-in coaching staff.