KARACHI: Pakistan’s leading gloveman Saqib Hanif is going to sign a contract with the Maldives’ top-tier football team BG Sports Club.
The 22-year-old player from Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) was scheduled to leave from Islamabad for Male on Friday night to sign the contract document on Monday.
This is the first time that Saqib will feature in a foreign league. Founded in 1996 the club had Pakistan’s key player Saadullah last season. However, his contract was not extended.
The credit for Saqib’s agreement with the BG Sports Club goes to Pakistan’s only pro-licence coach Shehzad Anwar, a friend of Mohamed Shaazly’s, coach of the club.
“Saqib is a fine player and I hope he will live up to the billing,” Shehzad told ‘The News’.
Saqib, who belongs to Bannu, has played for Pakistan both at junior and senior levels. His last assignment for Pakistan was the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-22 Championship qualifiers held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in April last year.
Soon after the event, Pakistan’s football entered into a turbulent phase because of the cracks in the football family.
Currently the cases of the two factions of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) are under progress at Lahore High Court (LHC). The LHC reserved the cases three months back.
Shehzad, a former head coach of Pakistan, plans to send four players to Brazil for playing for clubs at the district level.
“I am busy making deals for them. The four players who will be sent to Brazil will be one striker, one goalkeeper, one defender and one midfielder,” Shehzad said.He himself is expected to sign a contract with a Brazilian club as a coach.
In the last few years, quite a few Pakistani footballers got the opportunity to play in foreign leagues. The country’s leading striker Kaleemullah had a lucrative stint with Kyrgyzstan’s Dordoi FC a couple of years back and now plays for United Soccer League (USL) side Tulsa Roughnecks.
The diminutive midfielder Mohammad Adil and defender Saddam Hussain had stints with Dordoi whose coach was former Pakistan coach Zavisa Milosavljevic. Saddam and Mohammad Ahmed have played for Bahrain’s Isa Town FC.