Footballers to train at home for BD clash

KARACHI: Pakistan football team will have to depend on home training ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against Bangladesh as the authorities have failed to arrange a foreign training tour for the team.

“We had a plan to arrange a tour to a Gulf country but it looks difficult now as no progress has been made in that direction and it is almost certain that our team will have to depend on home training for the vital assignment against Bangladesh,” the secretary of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Col Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi told ‘The News’ on Friday.

Pakistan are scheduled to face Bangladesh in the first round of the World Cup 2014 qualifiers on June 29 in Dhaka and July 3 in Lahore respectively.

The winners of the round will face Lebanon in the second round to be held on July 24 and 28.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s preparatory camp for the coming assignment against Bangladesh has already started in Lahore on Thursday. Of the 29 probables, 22 had reported till the filing of this story. Striker Arif Mehmood was about to reach Lahore late Friday while KRL Mohammad Qasim has been granted leave due to his mother’s illness. Shakir Lashari is also yet to report. However, the good news for the team is that striker Mohammad Rasool, who has been inserted into the probables’ list, has joined the camp after producing a freshly-prepared passport.