The show must go on: U16 event to be held despite PFF drama [Express Tribune]

The show must go on: U16 event to be held despite PFF drama [Express Tribune]

By Natasha Raheel – Express Tribune

KARACHI: Despite the controversy surrounding the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), Punjab Football Association (PFA) President Sardar Naveed Haider has said that the National U16 Championship will take place in Multan on June 26 as planned.

Haider said that the PFA has prepared the players for the championship, while teams from all the provinces will participate in the event.

“Just because one group has taken over the PFF headquarters in Lahore, it doesn’t mean that we will stop our football activities,” Haider told The Express Tribune. “This championship is very important because the players have been preparing for it.”

Haider added that he had held open trials in Punjab where more than 200 players showed up.  “We have selected an 18-member team. Most of these players are new and haven’t been part of any national event before. This is the first time we made such an effort and selected the boys on merit.”

The official stated that petty politics would defeat the federation’s purpose of developing football in the country instead of progressing in a positive manner.

He added that the National U16 Championship is one of the main events this year as Pakistan are scheduled to compete at the Asian Football Confederation U16 Championship in September. “If we stop the championship now, we may not get the time to prepare the team for international events at all,” said Haider.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th,  2015.