Sports Correspondent – The News
KARACHI: Pakistan football team will face Bahrain’s Al-Riffa Sports Club in their first practice game at the Bahrain National Stadium in Riffa on Monday (today).
The match starts at 8:30pm PST, Pakistan team head delegate Naved Haider told ‘The News’ from Manama on Sunday.
Riffa Club are the strongest side of Bahrain, having won the Bahrain’s Premier League 11 times. Naved said that Pakistan would play their second match against Bahrain’s King’s Cup winners East Riffa on August 27 and against Al-Hidd on August 30.
East Riffa are also the 1993-94 Premier League champions.
“Our main objective is to give good exposure to the players. I think the tour will help the boys get good practice for the Asian Games as the clubs of Bahrain are tough,” Naved said.
He disclosed that Pakistan would be missing their skipper Kaleemullah, defender Faisal Iqbal and Bilawal-ur-Rehman because they have injuries. “All these players are getting treatment here and hopefully will recover soon,” Naved said.
“Defender Mohammad Ahmed will also not play tomorrow due to throat infection and fever,” he said. Naved hoped that Faisal would become fit before the second game. He added that winger Mohammad Adil was expected to play on Monday.
Adil had skipped the two-match series against India in Bangalore last week due to an injury despite being part of the touring party.
Pakistan team is staying at a seven-star hotel in Manama.
Today’s game will be played on a grassy ground. According to Naved, the temperature in Manama is around 36 degree Celcius.
He also revealed that Kaleemullah, Adil and Saddam Hussain would leave for Kyrgyzstan on August 28 to join their club Dordoi Bishkek. He said the trio would return to Pakistan on September 9 as Pakistan team is expected to fly out of Islamabad for South Korea to feature in the Asian Games football event.