AFC representative inspects Jinnah Ground for WC qualifier [The News]

AFC representative inspects Jinnah Ground for WC qualifier [The News]

LAHORE: The Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) representative Kemel Tokabaev of Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday inspected the Jinnah Stadium, Islamabad, the prospective venue for hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers game between Pakistan and Cambodia on October 17.

Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee’s senior member Shahid Khokhar and the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) officials accompanied him during his inspection.

Sources told The News that the AFC’s representative thoroughly checked the entire facilities of the venue. He will inspect the back-up venue Punjab Stadium, Lahore, on Thursday (today). He will then submit his report with the AFC.

A video of the visit released by the PFF NC shows that Kemel is not happy with the goalpost and he can be seen telling Shahid Khokhar and others about some issue with it.

The AFC representative and Shahid Khokhar also held a meeting with the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Director Shoaib Khoso after inspection of the venue. Sources said that Khoso assured the PFF NC that the deficiencies would be removed by October 10.

Khoso told The News that they have noted the reservations of the AFC representative and they will address them. “Yes, every effort will be made to address them,” he told this correspondent.

“He has told us that the stadium pitch should be constantly given water and safe poles should be made and we are going to prepare them accordingly. We will give them the required halls and rooms by making them in order by October 10,” Khoso said.

“But we have told the PFF NC to depute its expert so that he could supervise the work and we will hand over NC the ground. We told Shahid Khokhar that the Board will assist them and there will be need of their expert,” he said.

Published in The News, 21 September 2023

AFC official inspects Punjab stadium

LAHORE: The AFC match commissioner Kemel Tokabaev on Thursday visited Punjab Stadium here, a back-up venue for Jinnah Stadium, Islamabad, which is set to host the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers second leg between Pakistan and Cambodia on October 17.

He witnessed the renovation work being done inside the stadium and inspected pitch grass, goalpost and other facilities which are required for hosting an international game.

Published in The News, 22 September 2023