Low attendance mars SAFF football camp

[THE NEWS, 31 Oct 2011]

KARACHI: Only 13 players were able to join the training camp of the Pakistan football team which started at the Punjab Stadium in Lahore on Sunday.

In connection with the preparations for the SAFF Cup, Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) had invited 29 probables for the camp but the low turn out on the first day also disappointed the coach Tariq Lutfi.

“Definitely, it is disappointing. We had advised all the players to report for the camp on October 28 but only 13 players have reported for the camp so far but I am hopeful that by tomorrow morning all boys will be able to reach Lahore,” Lutfi told ‘The News’.

The 13 players played an exhibition match against Punjab University team.

The PFF the other day had announced in a press release that those players who will not join the camp from day one will also not be allowed to represent their teams in the ongoing Premier League.

But ‘The News’ has learnt that a few players from KESC and Army etc have violated the instructions and played the Premier League matches on Sunday.

The chances of the participation of the off-shore players in the SAFF Cup have almost ended as the PFF has already told them that they would not be picked if they failed to report for the camp on the first day of its start.

England-based Atif Bashir, Adnan Ahmad and Denmark-based Hassan Bashir were invited for the camp. These players have also not consulted Lutfi on the issue.