KARACHI: Pakistan football team was scheduled to fly out of Lahore for Palestine in the wee hours of Wednesday (today) to face Palestine in an international friendly at the Faisal Al-Husseini Stadium in Al-Ram on Friday.
The match had originally been scheduled for Thursday (tomorrow), but was delayed by one day because of Pakistan’s late arrival. It had been feared that the tour might not happen because of lack of the traveling permit, but Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) received the document from the hosts late Tuesday.
Sources said Palestinian team’s visit to China on November 16 would have to be rescheduled. Palestine are to face China on November 20. Soon after getting the green signal from the Palestine Football Association (PFA), PFF announced the squad for the match.
The 17-member squad has seven foreign-based players, including Danish Superliga winger Adnan Mohammad and Canada-based midfielder Naveed Rehman. Both are likely to make their international debut for Pakistan.Naveed’s brother Adil Rehman could not find a place in the touring party. The brothers have played in Slovakia and Holland.
Adnan Mohammad, who plays for Danish Superliga club Lyngby Boldklub, is expected to add strength to Pakistan’s line-up. The other foreign-based players are Danish strikers Hassan Bashir and Mohammad Ali, goalie Yousuf Butt, and defender Yaqoob Butt, and England-born defender Zesh Rehman.
PFF secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi said they wanted to give more exposure to the team. “The team has players of different age-groups. We want to give them maximum exposure. We want to see our team play an international match almost every month. The tour will help our side get practice. We want to prepare players for next year’s international assignments,” Lodhi told ‘The News’.
Pakistan next year will feature in the South Asian Games, Olympic qualifiers and World Cup qualifiers.
Squad: Yousaf Ijaz Butt (goalkeeper), Ahsanullah (goalkeeper), Umer Hayat, Arslan Ali, Naveed Ahmad, Zeeshan Rehman, Mehdi Hassan, Yaqoob Ijaz Butt, Adnan Yaqoob, Saddam Hussain, Umair Ali, Hassan Bashir, Muhammad Ali, Zain-ul-Abideen, Mahmood Khan, Naveed Rehman, Mansoor Khan
Officials: Jose Antonio Nogueira (head coach), Mohammad Habib (assistant coach), Jose Roberto Portella Carneiro Filho (trainer), Mohammad Adnan (physio).