KARACHI: Air Force Sri Lanka have approached four players and a coach of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) football team for representing them in the Sri Lanka Premier League, which would begin early next year.
“Four players and a PAF coach were approached by Air Force Sri Lanka during the PAF football team’s recent tour to Colombo and hopefully the things would finalise soon,” a PAF team source told ‘The News’ on Saturday.
‘The News’ learnt that the players who have been approached include Pakistan’s emerging striker Mansoor Khan, defenders Mohammad Sufyan, Mohammad Sohail, Mohammad Asif and coach Mohammad Arshad, a former Pakistan striker.
The source further said that the deal would now be subject to the decision of the PAF sports administration.
One of the players approached told this correspondent that it would be a great step if they were able to strike a deal with the Air Force Sri Lanka, which are now the third-ranked side of the country.
The club also have to their credit the Sri Lanka Premier League title in 2013.
Of the pack which has been offered, Mansoor is considered to be the most talented player. Air Force Sri Lanka would feature in the Sri Lanka Premier League which would be held in March-April 2017. As many as 16 teams feature in the Sri Lanka Premier League.
Meanwhile, the PAF team returned to Pakistan on Saturday after winning the three-match series against Air Force Sri Lanka 1-0. In the first game held at the Sri Lanka Air Force Ground in Colombo on December 17, PAF beat the hosts 1-0 with Mansoor Khan scoring the winner in the 72nd minute.
The second match held on December 20 ended in a 1-1 draw with Mansoor scoring the goal for the visitors who had taken the lead. The third outing on December 22 remained 0-0 draw.
It was the first time that the PAF played a series abroad. They had been extended invitation by Air Force Sri Lanka a couple of months ago. It was also learnt that the PAF has invited Air Force Sri Lanka for a three-match series in February next year.
Pakistan Air Force ended third in the last Pakistan Premier League. The team also have to their credit a title of the National Football Challenge Cup, Pakistan’s second major event after the Premier League.
PAF coach Mohammad Arshad confirmed the information and said the ball was now in the court of the PAF sports management.
“Our sports boss would now decide about the offer,” Arshad told ‘The News’ on Saturday.
“Sri Lanka’s league is not that long and hopefully our contract with the club would be finalised as we are free,” Arshad said.
Because of the ongoing legal battle, Pakistan’s football has been inactive for the last 19 months. A 17-member PAF team had toured Sri Lanka.