AFC inspector visits three facilities

KARACHI: An inspector of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Mohamed Salman of Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday visited the Peoples Sports Complex and a couple of other venues here to examine their basic facilities.

The Peoples Sports Complex will host the AFC Under-16 Championship Qualifiers Group E from September 25 to 29.

Hosts Pakistan, Iran, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Sri Lanka will be featuring in the qualifiers.

Salman also visited the KMC Stadium and the KPT Stadium. Both these venues will be used for training of the participating teams during the qualifiers.

Salman was accompanied by the Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) Director Development and Competitions Pervez Saeed Mir and Sindh Football Association’s secretary Hasan Baloch.

The AFC official, who will also be acting as match commissioner during the slots, instructed the organisers at the Peoples Sports Complex that the rooms of the match commissioner and technical staff should be prepared on the ground floor along with the conference room.

He also advised the organisers to improve the grass of the pitch. The renovation work at the Peoples Stadium has already been started.

He noticed some waste materials and stones inside the KMC Stadium, which annoyed him.

While talking to reporters at the KMC Stadium, Salman said that there were no basic facilities at the training venue, but that the PFF had assured him that all the arrangements would be completed in time.

He advised the administrator Ahmed Jan to prepare the changing rooms and make ready all other facilities according to international standards by September.

However, he was satisfied with the ground condition which has sufficient grass on it.

Ahmed told this correspondent that Rs5 million would be spent on preparing the stadium for training during the qualifiers.

Salman replied in the negative when asked if the AFC had any alternative plan for the event.

During the visit to the KPT Stadium he expressed satisfaction over the arrangements but instructed the administration that the pitch should be given water in the morning or at night and not in daytime.

Salman was scheduled to check the floodlights of the Peoples Stadium late in the evening.

Meanwhile, another AFC inspector, Sominori Gokoh of Japan, landed here on Wednesday. Sindh Football Association’s (SFA) secretary Hasan Baloch received him at the Jinnah International Airport afternoon.

Both the inspectors will visit the Peoples Stadium on Thursday (today) and hold a meeting at the venue.

The police top officials will also attend the meeting.

Iran will face Sri Lanka and Pakistan will lock horns with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on September 25.

On September 27, Pakistan will meet Iran while Sri Lanka will clash with UAE. On September 29 Iran will lock horns with UAE and Pakistan will meet Sri Lanka.