FIFA rejected a request from Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) to move the 2nd leg of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers Round 1 between Bangladesh and Pakistan for 3 July 2011 from Lahore over security concerns. FIFA stated that the game will be played as initially planned without any changes of venue or dates following the 1st leg game in Dhaka on 29 June 2011.
Sindh FA chairman, and vice president of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) and South Asian Football Federation (SAFF), Syed Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari strongly criticised BFF’s attempt to move the game and urged the BFF and SAFF President, Kazi Salahuddin to avoid bringing the game into disrepute despite PFF’s promise of full cooperation to ensure full security given to Bangladesh team.
Khadim Ali Shah expressed his sorrow over BFF’s request given how PFF had successfully hosted Palestine for two-match friendly series as well as Malaysia U21 side for 2012 Olympic qualifers back in March 2011 without any problems. He also pointed out a 14-member Bangladesh judo team recently took part in the South Asian Judo Championship in Islamabad without any problems.
But at the same time Khadim Ali Shah expressed his happiness in FIFA’s rejection of the request to move the vital fixture, as well as urging Bangladesh to have faith in Pakistan to ensure sports activity in such tense times across the nation. He said that it is Kazi Salahuddin’s responsibility to ensure that football promotion and cooperation across the SAFF region is implemented on a regular basis to help peace, harmony, and solidarity through such mega sports events.