K-Electric look to boost squad with Nigerian defender Akpalo [The News]

K-Electric look to boost squad with Nigerian defender Akpalo [The News]

KARACHI: The K-Electric football team is keen to induct another Nigerian defender Michael Akpalo in its squad for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup play-offs to be held early next year.

“We want to insert Akpalo in the squad. We have already made commitment with him,” K-Electric sports manager Zabe Khan told ‘The News’ on Friday.

He will be the third Nigerian to join K-Electric. The other Nigerians Oludeyi Sunday and Wilson Segun were part of K-Electric’s successful campaign in the AFC Cup play-offs qualifiers at Thimpu in Bhutan in August this year.

Both Wilson and Oludeyi will be able to join K-Electric’s preparatory campaign ahead of the vital round because their Pakistani visas would expire on February 5. However for Akpalo K-Electric will have to first get NOC from the government which is not an easy job.

“We will apply for NOC in a week’s time. We would need early disposal of our case so that we could call him in time,” Zabe said.

Akpalo had also been invited by K-Electric for Sheikh Kamal International tournament in Bangladesh last month. However, he had to go back from Dhaka airport after his request for visa on arrival was turned down.

K-Electric will play their first knock-out game in the preliminaries on January 27.

“We will play on January 27 but we don’t know about our oppositions yet. I am trying to get details of our commitment in the vital stage from the AFC,” the official said.

K-Electric will participate in the AFC Cup competition which will carry two ties in the preliminaries and the third and last one would be the play-off stage before the actual group stage.

“It is not easy to feature in these competitions but we are thankful to our top officials who are supporting the team,” Zabe said.

He said that effort would be made to start preparation for the round from January 1.

K-Electric had qualified for the AFC Cup play-offs qualifiers after winning the Premier League last season.

However, due to infighting between two groups of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), the sport suffered a lot this year. The national league, which in the past was used to kick-off in September, is yet to start because of the dispute.

Published in The News, 7 November 2015