Over a year after it started, Challenge Cup to finally conclude [Dawn]

Over a year after it started, Challenge Cup to finally conclude [Dawn]

KARACHI: Almost 15 months after it began, the National Challenge Cup will finally reach its end after the Pakistan Football Federation Norma­lisation Committee announced on Friday that it will hold its knockout stages in Lahore next month.

The Challenge Cup, the first men’s tournament conducted by the FIFA-appointed PFF NC lead by Haroon Malik, kicked off in January last year but only the group stage of the country’s cup football event was played.

The PFF NC failed in organising the knockout round for the whole of last year but has now finally decided on a window from May 1 to 12 to complete the tournament, starting with the round of 16.

“The Round of 16 of the National Challenge Cup 2023 will be held in Lahore from May 1 to 12,” read a PFF NC news release.

“The top two teams from each of the seven groups, along with the two best third-positioned teams, have secured their places in the Round of 16.

“The details of the teams are as follows: Khan Research Laboratories, Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, WSTC, Otto Crain, SA Farms, Wapda, SA Gardens, Higher Education Commission, Pak-Afghan Clearing Agency, NIMSO, Asia Ghee Mills, Pakistan Railway, Pakistan Police and Masha United.

“To ensure a smooth organisation of the final round, the PFF has already sent invitations to all the participating teams. After receiving the teams’ confirmations, the draws will be conducted and the schedule for the matches will be announced in due course.”

The participating teams have been asked to submit their confirmations by April 10.

Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2024

Published in Dawn, 6 April 2024