Pak U14s off to Japan for football festival

KARACHI: A 19-member Pakistan Under-14 football team will leave for Japan on October 6 to feature in an international football festival, which is being organised by the Japan Football Association (JFA) for South Asian countries.

Pakistan have been placed in Group B with Maldives, Sri Lanka, Japan and Nepal. Group A carries India, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Japan and Bangladesh.

Pakistan colts’ coach Hassan Baloch told ‘The News’ that the schedule of the event has not been dispatched. However, he said that Pakistan would return on October 20.

The coach said that the captain of the team has not been unveiled as yet. He said Karachi-based defender Salman Rahim might be made the skipper for the festival which according to Hasan would help the colts gain experience.

He said that all players have already played in the AFC Under-13 and Under-14 festivals held in Iran in 2011 and Pakistan in 2012.

Zahid Taj will be the goalkeeping coach, while Najeebullah Najmi will go with the team as assistant coach. Hasan said that the team had been training at the City School Ground near the FIFA Football House in Lahore since September 28.

He said that the players born in 1998 could feature in the festival. PFF secretary Col Ahmad Yar Khan Lodhi said that the JFA would provide accommodation and air-tickets, while the PFF would give the players daily allowance. He said the tour would help the young players learn a lot.

Source: The News