Sajjad to train U16 team for SAFF event

KARACHI: Sajjad Mehmood has been appointed head coach of the Pakistan Under-16 team which will feature in the inaugural SAFF Under-16 Football Championship to be held in Nepal from August 1-10.

Sajjad, who is also serving as coach of KRL, reached Lahore on Saturday to take charge of his team which has already underwent training for three days at the Punjab Stadium under AFC License A coach Shehzad Anwar who failed to work with the team due to his domestic engagements.

Sajjad also has the experience of working as assistant to former Pakistan coach Akhtar Mohiuddin in the SAFF Championship in the Maldives in 2008.

The support staff for Sajjad is yet to be announced.

Pakistan have shortlisted 45 players for the Kathmandu event out of 400 boys through a ten-day trial in the Punjab capital. A senior official of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) told The News on Saturday that they have selected players from every nook and corner of the country.

“By July 20, the probables will be reduced to 30 and by July 28 or 29, the final 22-member squad will be announced for the event which was inserted into the fold of the competitions during a seminar for the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) member associations in New Delhi early this year.

Of the 45 probables, 27 are fresh recruits while 18 are those who have already represented Pakistan in the AFC Under-13 and Under-14 competitions.