Footballers to leave for Dubai tomorrow

KARACHI: Pakistan football team will fly for Dubai from here on Saturday (tomorrow) to give final touches to their preparations for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup Qualifiers to be held in Kyrgyzstan from March 17 to 21.

“Yes, the team will leave from Karachi on Saturday evening via Pakistan International Airlines (PIA),” Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) secretary Col Ahmad Yar Khan Lodhi told ‘The News’ on Thursday.

The team under coach Zavisa Milosavljevic will reach Karachi in the afternoon on Saturday before flying for Dubai in the night where they would play a game on March 11 against UAE’s under-19 or under-21 team.

Lodhi said that after undergoing training for a few days the team would move to Bishkek in the night of March 15 and would reach the Kyrgyzstan capital in the wee hours of March 16.

Pakistan are scheduled to face former champions Tajikistan in their opener on March 17 at the Spartak Stadium in Bishkek followed by their games against hosts Kyrgyzstan on March 19 and Macau on March 21.

As many as 20 teams are in fray and are bracketed in five groups of four teams each. The five group winners and two best second placed sides will join hosts Maldives in the final round to be held in Male in 2014. Lodhi said that Pakistan’s final team would be unveiled on Friday (today).

from: The News