Footballers to start preparation for qualifiers in Islamabad [The News]

Footballers to start preparation for qualifiers in Islamabad [The News]

LAHORE: National footballers will start assembling in Islamabad on Thursday (tomorrow) to kick-start their preparation for the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers second round Group G back-to-back matches against Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan.

Pakistan will host Saudi Arabia on June 6 at Jinnah Stadium Islamabad and it will be followed by their away game against Tajikistan on June 11 at the Pamir Stadium Dushanbe. Pakistan trail at the rock bottom of the group as they have lost all their four matches they have played so far.

Pakistan began their Group G journey with a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Saudi Arabia in Al-Ahsa in November followed by a 6-1 loss at the hands of Tajikistan at Islamabad in the same month.

Jordan then downed Pakistan 3-0 in Islamabad in a game held in Ramadan while Jordan then thrashed the Green-shirts 7-0 at the Amman International Stadium. Pakistan’s English head coach Stephen Constantine witnessed recently the National Challenge Cup matches.

According to sources, it is highly expected that fresh faces will be seen in the camp which will be held at the Jinnah Stadium.

According to well-informed sources KRL’s gloveman Tanvir Mumtaz and their midfielder Junaid have also been invited to the camp. Sources said that PAF’s midfielders Faheem Khan and their under-16 left-back Abdul Rehman will also been seen in the camp. Sources said that Stephen Constantine has prepared a 32-member list which also carries five officials.

Sources said that Stephen had visited Kuala Lumpur to attend 3rd AFC National Coaches Conference which concluded on May 9. Sources said that Adeel Rizki attended the conference as Pakistan women coach. However, he was seen witnessing the final of the event which NC completed in a one-year time.

Published in The News, 15 May 2024

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