Palestine’s tour of Pakistan cancelled

KARACHI: Palestine football team’s tour of Pakistan on Saturday was cancelled after the Palestine Football Association (PFA) failed to collect their players, especially those who are playing abroad.

“Yes, Palestine have shown their inability to send their team to Pakistan because they could not gather their players,” Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) secretary Col Ahmad Yar Lodhi confirmed it to ‘The News’.

He said that now effort would be made to focus on Pakistan’s tour to Singapore in November as currently it will be difficult to arrange a series with any other country.

Some of the players of Palestine team were also playing for their national champions club Al Amma’ri who ended as runners-up in the AFC President’s Cup in Dushanbe and reached Palestine on Friday. And their availability for Pakistan’s tour was also a factor that forced the Palestine Football Association (PFA) to write to PFF that they were not able to send their team.

Palestine had earlier agreed to send their senior team to Pakistan for a two-match series, the matches of which were expected to be held on October 14 and 16. Initially the Punjab government had refused to provide the Punjab Stadium for the series and the PFF had to opt for KPT Stadium, Karachi. But on Saturday Sports Board Punjab (SBP) had agreed to provide Punjab Stadium for FIFA days matches but their announcement came too late as the series had already been cancelled.

Pakistan had also invited 25 players, also including eight foreign-based, for the camp which was scheduled to start at Lahore from October 10.

Palestine had last year also come to Pakistan and had played two matches against Pakistan’s Olympic side (Under-22) at Lahore and Karachi, winning the series 1-0 after the Karachi match had ended in a draw.

Source: The News