KPT Stadium to host Pakistan vs Palestine series

KARACHI: After the Punjab government refused to provide the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) the Punjab Stadium, Lahore, for two-match home series against Palestine, the federation has decided to hold both the matches here at the KPT Stadium, Karachi, in the middle of this month, a top official of the KPT confirmed on Friday.

“Yes, we have agreed to host both the matches on October 14 and 16 at the KPT Stadium. It will be a great honour for us as our venue will also become international,” KPT Sports Manager Shah Naeem Zafar told ‘The News’.

“The venue will be renovated as a foreign team is coming to play here. We have already done some renovation and will try to ready the venue for the two historic games,” Shah said.

However, a PFF official said that the dates of the matches may be changed as the PFF is waiting for Palestine’s schedule.

“They will tell us in two or three days about their schedule. For the time being we have kept the matches on October 14 and 16. But if the visitors come late then one match may be held on October 18, but we will try our best to hold one of the matches on October 16, which is also the FIFA day,” PFF secretary Col Ahmad Yar Khan Lodhi said.

“Some of the players of Palestine, who were engaged in Dushanbe with their club Al Amma’ri at the AFC President’s Cup, were scheduled to reach their homes today. And some of their foreign-based players have visa problems,” Lodhi said.

Last year, Palestine played two matches against Pakistan Olympic side (Under-22) at the Punjab Stadium in Lahore and People’s Sports Complex, Karachi.

The government did not provide Punjab Stadium to PFF because the federation has recently got a stay order from the Lahore High Court that forced the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) to postpone its October 1 meeting, convened to discuss the implementation of the national sports policy.

But KPT is a good alternative venue. People’s Sports Complex is an international venue, but is not suitable for hosting any international match these days due to the poor condition of its pitch.

Source: The News