1st SAFF Women Championship: Sana appointed new captain of Pakistan Women football team

Lahore, 7 December: Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat has approved National Champion Young Rising Star’s captain and central defender Sana Mehmood as new captain of Pakistan National Women Team.

Pakistan will appear in the eight-nation First SAFF Women Football Championship that will begin on December 12 in the tourist resort of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The host is placed in Group A along with SA Games champions India, Sri Lanka and Bhutan while Pakistan are bracketed in Group B with Nepal, Afghanistan and Maldives. Two top teams from each of the two groups will play in the semifinal.

Daughter of Tanvir Mehmood, Sana, 21, took over the captain’s arm band from midfielder Ishrat Fatima of Lahore’s Sports Sciences Department (Punjab University) who captained Pakistan at Dhaka’s Bangabandhu National Stadium earlier this year in five-nation League of 11th South Asian Games 2010. Ishrat is also in the squad. HEC’s Asmaa Usman, also 21 and daughter of Usman Ghani, will act as Sana’s deputy.

The 18-player squad for the First-ever SAFF Women Championship 2010 had already been finalized. Young Rising Star’s Asmara Habib, HESCO’s Naila Rani, and Diya FC’s Marium Laghari will earn international cap for the first time while other 15, including Sana, have already represented Pakistan in 11th South Asian Games.

Sana Mehmood is only female footballer of Pakistan who lifted the National title twice. On both occasion Young Rising Star FC edged out Pakistan WAPDA in 2008, 2010. She was bronze medalist in 2009. 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. She also visited 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.

Pakistani team is comprised of Sana Mahmood (Young Rising Star) Captain, Asmaa Usman (HEC) VC, Syeda Mahpara, Malaika Noor, Asmara Habib, Sahar Zaman (Young Rising Star), Shumaila Sattar, Naila Rana, Humera Nazir, Nadia Bhatti (WAPDA), Mehwish Khan, Hajra Khan, Marium Laghari (Diya FC), Shahida Ghulam Raza, Shelyla Baloch (Balochistan United), Mejzgaan Orakzai, Abeeha Haider (Islamabad), Ishrat Fatima ( Sports Sciences). The stand byes are Roshnan Ali (Young Rising Star) and Afshan Altaf (Sindh).

Group of Young Rising Star FC. Sana Mehmood standing fourth from right