Pakistan mull practice games after tour postponement

KARACHI: Pakistan football team coach Tariq Lutfi is planning to arrange practice games for his team against different departmental teams, as a foreign tour could not be made possible ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against Bangladesh.

“Foreign training tour could have been much better for us but unfortunately it could not be arranged in spite of hectic effort from the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF). In order to compensate for it, we have decided to shift the camp from Lahore to Islamabad on June 9, Lutfi told ‘The News’ on Sunday.

“There we will try to arrange around half-a-dozen matches against different departmental teams and one against Combined XI of the different outfits preparing for the Premier League.”

He revealed that 26 players have so far reported for the camp, while Shakir Lashari, Mohammad Qasim and Rehan Muneer are yet to report due to different reasons.

Lutfi revealed that foreign-based players including Zeeshan Rehman, Atif Bahsir Qureshi, Adnan Farooq Ahmed, Shabbir Khan and Adam Karim have been advised to join the camp in Islamabad till June 20.

“I will meet with the PFF top officials on Monday and will enquire about the availability of these players,” he said.

Zesh Rehman, Atif Bashir and Adnan Farooq are the permanent members, while Shabir Khan will be included if he is available.

About striker Ahmed Akber Khan, who belongs to Australia and is currently in the camp Lutfi said: “He looks technically sound. But he is still not under consideration as we will closely watch him during the next ten days and then his fate will be decided.”