PPFL to get underway in July

KARACHI: The country’s prime football event, the Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) will kick off in the first week of July, it was decided during a meeting at the FIFA Football House in Lahore on Thursday.

The meeting, which was chaired by the Director Operations of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Pervez Saeed Mir, was attended by the managers of all the 16 participating teams.

In the meeting, the numbers of venues were reduced in a bid to attract more crowds. The first round will kick off in Karachi and Quetta simultaneously — most probably on July 5.

Home matches of the Karachi-based teams Habib Bank, National Bank, Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC), PIA and KPT will be hosted by the KPT Football Stadium and Peoples Sports Complex only while KRL, Army, PAF and Navy will play their home games at the Municipal Stadium in Rawalpindi. Faisalabad-based PMC Athletico will play their home games at the PMC Ground while WAPDA Sports Complex Ground in Lahore will serve as the home ground of the defending champions WAPDA.

A Lahore-based company Pak Elektron Limited (PEL) has opted to shift their venue from the Punjab capital to Balochistan because most of their players belong to Quetta.

The PFF Director Operations Pervez Saeed Mir said that because objections were raised over the poor condition of the Afghan FC home ground in Chaman, the federation has decided to form a committee which will visit Balochistan to inspect both the prospective venues there including Government High School Ground in Chaman and Mali Bagh Ground in Quetta before picking the home ground for Afghan FC, Nushki’s Baloch FC, PEL and the new entrants Muslim FC and Police who will be fielded in place of the relegated teams Sahiwal’s Young Blood and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC).

There will be around a 42-day rest for Ramadan and Edi-ul-Fitr while the 242-match marathon will conclude by the end of December.