AFC extends deadline to confirm venue for Pakistan-Jordan clash [Geo Super]

AFC extends deadline to confirm venue for Pakistan-Jordan clash [Geo Super]

by Faizan Lakhani

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has extended the deadline to confirm the venue for Pakistan’s home clash against Jordan during the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers.

The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) now has until February 2 to confirm the venue for the March 21 match.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) has also assured PFF, in a letter on January 31, that the floodlights and seats will be installed at Jinnah Stadium in Islamabad before the match against Jordan.

Earlier, the PFF had stated that Islamabad’s Jinnah Stadium falls short of FIFA standards.

In a statement released on January 22, the PFF conveyed that it is actively exploring alternative venues to ensure the game takes place at a neutral location.

“In collaboration with the Pakistan Sports Board, the Pakistan Football Federation has been dedicatedly working on preparing Jinnah Stadium for the upcoming March match against Jordan, following the successful,” PFF stated.

“Regrettably, despite our best efforts, the current standard of Jinnah Stadium does not meet FIFA requirements,” it added.

The PFF had also highlighted a significant challenge related to lighting conditions, stating, “as the March game is scheduled to be held under lights and coincides with Ramazan, meeting FIFA’s lighting standards with the current setup has posed difficulties”.

Citing the January 21 deadline for venue submission and a commitment to upholding the game’s integrity, the PFF affirmed its decision to explore alternative options.

“We will be in contact with the Jordan Football Association to discuss arrangements for a neutral venue for the home leg,” the statement had said.

Jinnah Stadium previously hosted Pakistan’s home game in the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Tajikistan in November, drawing a crowd of 24,000 spectators cheering for the national team.

Published in Geo Super, 1 February 2024