PFF plans to hold championship in October, November [The News]

PFF plans to hold championship in October, November [The News]

KARACHI: Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) administration appointed by Lahore High Court is planning to organise a big national-level event in October and November, ‘The News’ learnt on Wednesday.

The event dates would be decided after the schedule of National Games in Quetta next month is finalised, sources said.

There has been no football competition at the national level since mid-2015 controversial election of Punjab Football Association. The Lahore High Court has appointed Justice (rtd) Asad Munir to run football affairs in the country.

PFF’s competition manager Rauf Bari told ‘The News’ that they had sent invitations to 30 departments, all four provinces, Islamabad, FATA, Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan.

The teams of Army, Navy and Pakistan Air Force would also participate in the competition, he added. He said all teams were eager to participate in the event.

The sources said some of the teams had started their training camps in Karachi.He said that the format of the event would be the same as was in 2003 National Football Championship.

Rauf further said that if needed qualifying rounds would be held for the event in three cities. Former head coach of national football team Akhtar Mohiuddin welcomed the decision to organise the championship. He said Pakistan football’s progress had been stopped because of political wrangling.

Mohiuddin said that currently Pakistan’s ranking was around 200 in the world. India, on the other hand, were ranked in the top 100, he added.

He added that Pakistan were eighth among South Asian nations. They were third in 2008, he added. “The talent of footballers across the country was being wasted.  Departmental teams have been closed. Many departments stopped their teams’ activities because there was no use of practice,” the former head coach said.

Published in The News, 21 September 2017