AFC delegation holds meeting with security officials

KARACHI: A two-member delegation of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Thursday held a meeting here with the security officials at the Peoples Sports Complex.

Mohamed Salman Namshan of Saudi Arabia and Suminori Gokoh of Japan were assured that best possible security would be provided to the participating teams in the AFC Under-16 Championship Qualifiers to be held at the Peoples Sports Complex from September 25 to 29.

Pakistan, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sri Lanka and Iran will be competing in the event.

SSP Lyari Najmuddin Tareen, representatives of traffic police, special branch, bomb disposal wing and police security branch (foreign) attended the meeting.

Also present were Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Director Development and Competitions Wing Commander (retd) Pervez Saeed Mir and representatives of Sindh Football Association (SFA) Hasan Baloch, Shakoor Baloch, Rahim Bakhsh Baloch and KESC’s Sports Manager Zabe Khan. The delegation inspected various facilities at the venue. “Several things need to be improved. I hope that the venue would be made ready by September,” Suminori Gokoh told ‘The News’.

He said the pitch of the Peoples Stadium needed improvement.

Interestingly, Salman inspected a room for the referees with the help of torch of his cell phone because of no electricity. Salman advised that the venue should be well-prepared before the event. They also inspected the KPT Stadium and the KMC Stadium. Both these venues would be used for training.

The SSP told this correspondent that tight security arrangements would be made for the competitions. The venue would be fully covered with police also to be deployed on the rooftops of the eight buildings surrounding the stadium.

This would be after eight long years that any major international football event would be held in Karachi. In 2005 the Peoples Stadium hosted the SAFF Cup.