By our FPDC correspondents
The Palestine National Team arrived in Lahore, in two contingents, this weekend. The head of their delegation, their head coach, their captain spoke to the press today at the PFF house. They expressed their delight at visiting Pakistan; Pakistanis they said are like their brothers.
‘’We’re safe and proud to be in Pakistan. Palestine and Pakistan have always been together. The welcome we have received is great. We hope to play well and show some real sportsmanship during our stay. Pakistan and Palestine strive for peace and happiness and this series will provide a positive image to the world of the both countries.’’, said the Head of the Palestinian delegation Abu Sarur who chose his mother tongue, Arabic, to share his views with the press.
The Palestine Head Coach Moussa Bezaz welcomed international action for his young Palestinian side and said that teams like Pakistan and Palestine need many more such games. ‘’We need to play regularly so our players can get more exposure and so that they can develop. I am only coming with the West Bank based players for these ties though. The players from Gaza couldn’t get clearance from the government and the internationally based players only come on FIFA approved International breaks. Still this is the same team that played a 1-0 with the Thailand Olympic team and I am highly confident.’’
The Pakistan National Team coach, Tariq Lutfi, also spoke on the occasion. He welcomed the Palestine team and promised them a good game. ‘’I believe the performances of the National team have certainly improved.’’, he said. On a question about the failure of the team to score goals, he said, ‘’against the bigger sides one has to be cautious defensively, so scoring lots of goals is difficult but I think the goals would come as the team improves.’’
The goalkeeping coach of the Pakistan National team Aslam Khan confirmed the departure of Denmark based Goal-Keeper Yousuf Butt on personal reasons. He said he was disappointed that the keeper left early, and that he was capable of excellent performances. But he praised KESC goal-keeper Omer for his performance and hoped he will continue to put in the hard work.