Pakistan prepare ahead of SAFF Under-16 Cup

Published in The News

KARACHI: Pakistan Under-16 football team started its preparation at the Punjab Stadium in Lahore for the SAFF under-16 Cup to be hosted by Nepal from July 20 to 30 on Tuesday.

As many as 50 players have been called to join the camp out of which 36 reported on Tuesday at the FIFA Football House in Lahore.

“Ten players from Karachi are joining us tomorrow,” Coach Sajjad Mehmood told ‘The News’ from Lahore.

He said that the first session of the training camp was held on Tuesday evening, and from Wednesday (today), the training will be held in two sessions.

He said that the “cream of the available lot” had been picked during the National under-16 Championship which was held at Abbottabad recently.

“We have just started checking the players and slowly and gradually the player strength will be reduced,” said Sajjad.

Hasan Baloch and goalkeeper coach Nouman Ibrahim are in his support staff.

Pakistan in 2011 had defeated India in the final played at Kathmandu to become the first ever winners of the event.

After the SAFF Cup, the same team will then feature in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) under-16 Championship Group E Qualifiers to be hosted by Karachi at the Peoples Sports Complex in the last week of September.