FPDC Exclusive: Pakistan’s Danish quartet eager to play against Afghanistan

FPDC Exclusive: Pakistan’s Danish quartet eager to play against Afghanistan

By Shahrukh Sohail, Chief Editor, Islamabad. 

Ever since their exclusion from the National Team squads since October, 2013, the fans and results have missed foreign-based players turning out for Pakistan. But nobody more than the players have missed the green jersey.

Yaqoob Butt, who last played in Pakistan’s 2-1 win against Bangladesh in the 2013 SAFF Championship, revealed that he is doing well with his club in Denmark and  would be thrilled to play for his country against Afghanistan, for which the PFF are expected to hold a 10-day camp.

“My current form is at its best! I am playing as a defensive midfielder in VIF (Vanlose) now and playing every match. We are hoping to win the league this season or next! It’s a very young team but the players are very talented!”

Yaqoob (Number # 6)  in action for Pakistan against Maldives in February, 2013.
Yaqoob (Number # 6) in action for Pakistan against Maldives in February, 2013.

“My driving force of playing for Pakistan is my heart! I lived there for several years in Lahore and my entire family lives in Pakistan. I have always wanted to play for my country, and my country is Pakistan! The time that I was playing for the national team was wonderful. We won a lot of matches, and our team was new. The boys on the team are like brothers to me! And I think that we could get Pakistan back on track if we play with the same team for 1-2 years! ”

“I will always be willing to play for my country! But it is very hard to get free 10 days. But if the coach wants us to do that, Then I will try to get free for 10 days to take part in the camp,” he stressed.

Ace goalkeeper Yousuf Butt, who also turned down Canada U-19s to play for Pakistan, added that he was plying his trade in the Danish 1st Division with new club Bronshoj, where the level of football is very high and that could help the Shaheens immensely in the goalkeeping department.

“It’s been more than one year without national team football. But i am a professional who trains and does his best everyday I have moved up and now i am at the 1 division club Bronshoj, where the level is high. I train and play everyday with some decent footballers, who come from different places across the world. InshaAllah, this will benefit me and our national team of Pakistan when playing.”

Butt wants to guard the posts for Pakistan again.
Butt wants to guard the posts for Pakistan again.
“It’s a dream come true i must say, when playing for your mother land. I had chance to play for Canada’s youth team when i younger but when Pakistan coach Tariq Lutfi contacted me, i had no doubts for whom i wanted to play for! And since that day i have never regretted  my decision. Because the pride and feeling of entering the field with your Pakistan jersey and then singing the national anthem is an amazing, describable feeling. I must say it is sad with all of this “foreign” word with the media. Just because you are not born or raised in Pakistan dos not make you any more less of an Pakistani then my team mates in my book. Alhamdulillah, our coaches and teammates feel the same!”
“Well willing is not the word, because i will be willing to give my everything to the National team. It is more of “can it be done” as i am not my own boss. Its like any other work place where you have an employer who says when you can go from work or not. And when not playing  FIFA dates, the club can decide to deny you going. Of course if this is what the coach requires then i will try my 100 % to live up to that. At the moment we have pre-season in Denmark, as we have winters off here, so i deeply hope that the club will let me go if called upon,” claimed Yousuf.
Striker Mohammad Ali, who is currently attached to Svebolle in the Danish 2nd division and is top scorer at the club, also reiterated his desire to represent Pakistan once more and claimed that he will always be ready to wear the jersey with pride.
“It has been difficult without being a part of the national team, because I really enjoyed  representing my country and did whatever Pakistan needed to gain success. And Alhamdullilah, it’s going good with my new club (Svebolle), I’m the top-scorer of the team, and the vice captain as well . I think it’s even better now then it was 2 years ago, when I played for BK Avarta where I also was the top-scorer and the captain.”
Ali made his debut in 2012 against Singapore and now wants to play at home turf.
Ali made his debut in 2012 against Singapore and now wants to play at home turf.
“The biggest drive force is my passion and love for the game and my country . You can’t find a better combination. Its an honour to be a part of it, I’m very proud of have had the chance to represent Pakistan! And will always be ready to represent Pakistan for as long as I am able to perform.”
“I would of course be willing to play (Against Afghanistan in February), but the situation in the clubs make it a bit difficult to attend a 10 days camp before the game because we have hard preparations for the season . But If the club gives green light for me to attend the camp, I would be more then willing to come,” said Ali.
Forward Hassan Bashir, who already has 3 international goals and three assists for Pakistan in 10 games, also wants to represent his country again and revealed that he is willing to the necessary steps to take part in the game against Afghanistan.
“My current form is decent for Fremad Amager as we have been having winter break for 3 weeks now.”
“It’s very simple and like everyone else, I want to represent my country. When i was called up first time i was happy and enjoyed every minute of every tour we were on. I have really been missing playing for the Shaheens and i really hope from the bottom heart that i get selected again one day InshaAllah.”
Hassan is ready to sacrifice his club to play for Pakistan.
Hassan is ready to sacrifice his club to play for Pakistan.’
“If necessary, then yes. But i hope it is not necessary because it will cause a big problem with my club. But i must face the problem if it gets relevant. First I have to get selected for the Shaheens, if i do so then i have to take the steps that is necessary according to my club,” revealed Bashir.
Pakistan face Afghanistan at home next month and although the PFF are yet to confirm the participation of foreign-based players, it is quite certain the Danish quartet are very eager to make their home debuts.