PFF to stick with U21 team for AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers

KARACHI: Senior football players will not be included in the team for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup qualifiers that start on March 20 in Malaysia, according to the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF).

“We will carry on with our under-21 squad that is already preparing for the 2012 Olympic qualifiers,” said PFF Secretary Ahmed Lodhi. “We will not make huge changes in the team for the Challenge Cup, but there can be an addition of one or two senior players.”

The under-21 team will be playing against Malaysia and Palestine this month, and according to the PFF, it will be difficult for head coach Tariq Lutfi’s to train senior players in such a short period.

Lodhi also pointed out that the captain for the senior team Jaffar Khan will not be participating in the Challenge Cup.

Pakistan are placed in Group B along with India, Turkmenistan and Nepal in the qualifiers as the team bids for a place in the AFC Asian Cup that happens once in four years.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2011.