Pak-Jordan clash may witness low spectator turnout [The News]

Pak-Jordan clash may witness low spectator turnout [The News]

by Abdul Mohi Shah

ISLAMABAD: The day game, the month of Ramzan and a few other activities in and around the Sports Complex may not help in attracting a huge number of spectators for Pakistan’s World Cup Qualifying round match against Jordan on Thursday.

The day will start with a full dress rehearsal of the March 23 parade in the capital. The roads in and around the complex barring Kashmir Highway will remain closed till 2pm on March 21 — the starting time of the match. Spectators especially coming from Rawalpindi will have to use 9th Avenue or Kashmir (Srinagar) Highway to get access to Gate No 1 and Gate No 2 for entry into Pakistan Sports Complex.

The two previous internationals held in the capital — against Cambodia and Tajikistan drew huge crowd, making the football match look like a cricket international. Even in some cases the crowd that turned up for these matches had far better knowledge about the game of football, fully supporting good football from both the sides.

“Since the WC Qualifying round will get under way at 2pm, our suggestion for the general public is to start plying towards stadium from the Srinagar Highway at around 1pm so that they could reach the venue ahead of start of the match. March 21 will be a busy day for us as well as for the sports activities at the complex,” Saeed Akhtar (DDG Administration (acting)) told ‘The News’.

There is another activity within the complex premises in the evening on the same day as around the conclusion of the World Cup Qualifying match the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has convened its Congress meeting on the same day.

The meeting has been convened to seek a vote of confidence for newly-nominated PHF President Tariq Masoori Bugti. Since his nomination to the post and resignation of former president PHF Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, seeking a vote of confidence from the Congress is a constitutional requirement.

Around 100 nominees of different districts and affiliated units are expected to turn up for the meeting. “We have made separate arrangements for the Congress meeting. Though there will be a lot of hustle and bustle in and around the complex, hopefully the Congress meeting will go ahead as per schedule. Hopefully, they would have no issue in going with their day’s agenda,” Saeed said.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan football team which arrived in the city the other day, underwent their paces on Monday. The team had over one-hour training sessions in the afternoon. Jordan team that played in the final of the Asia Cup is scheduled to arrive in the city today (Tuesday). The team is scheduled to start their training from the same day.

Published in The News, 19 March 2024