National Challenge Cup to resume with second group stage [Dawn]

National Challenge Cup to resume with second group stage [Dawn]

KARACHI: The National Challenge Cup, which began in January last year, resumes in Islamabad on Wednesday with a second group stage, the Pakistan Football Federation Normalisation Committee announced on Tuesday.

The 16 teams which advanced from the first group stage have been divided equally into four groups, matches of which will be played until May 6, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the quarter-finals.

With domestic football having come to a standstill since the end of the first group stage, the FIFA-appointed PFF NC organised another group stage to allow for more matches for the departmental sides.

However, bizarrely, it has also implemented a rule that will see a player being cup-tied if he’s featured for another team in the first group stage. It’s a rule that is implemented in European domestic cup competitions but that’s for the course of a season. Here, the Challenge Cup is resuming after 15 months.

Matches will be held at the Jinnah Football Stadium with the final scheduled for May 12.

Group A: PACA, Pakistan Army, NIMSO and HEC
Group B: KRL, Pakistan Navy, SA Farms and Masha United
Group C: Otto Cranes, WAPDA, WSTC and Pakistan Police
Group D: PAF, Asia Ghee Mills, SA Gardens and Pakistan Railways

Published in Dawn, 1 May 2024

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