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Pakistan senior team returns to action for first time since 2009 SAFF Championship! Pakistan to face Turkmenistan, India, and Chinese Taipei in AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers from 21-25 March 2011 in Malaysia.

PFF announce 37 players for AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers camp

Lahore, 10 March: Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat has approved 37 players in the build up for Pakistan National Football team for appearance in fourth AFC Challenge Cup Qualifier. The winner of the finals will qualify for the 16th Asian Cup at Australia 2015. Pakistan will take on Turkmenistan (21 March), India (23 March) and Chinese Taipei (25 March) in Group-B encounters at Kuala Lumpur.

Asian Football Confederation allowed Pakistan the bye in the Pre-Qualifying Stage in the event that got under way on 9 February with first legs of four play-offs. Based on the rankings of the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup, the eight lowest ranked were drawn into four two-legged ties with the four winners advancing to the qualification proper. All matches are on a home and away basis scheduled. Unlike in previous editions, there will be no automatic qualifiers and holders Korea DPR, runners-up Turkmenistan and third-placed Tajikistan will have to navigate the qualification phase in order to return to the final phase.

AFC approved new format for the 2012 edition which was ratified by the AFC Executive Committee in Kuala Lumpur . All eligible Member Associations will compete in qualifiers (or playoff, if necessary). If there are more than 16 teams, the teams are to play pre-qualifying round (Home and Away).The Qualifying round shall consist of four groups of four teams each. The winners and runners-up from each group (total eight teams) will qualify for the tournament proper. Only the eight qualified teams for the tournament proper can bid to host the Finals.

AFC launched the biennial AFC Challenge Cup at Bangladesh in 2006. Tajikistan lifted first edition with a 4-0 thrashing of Sri Lanka in an anti-climax final at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on 16 April 2006. Dzhormikhon Muhidinov notched hatrick while Khurshed Makhmudov added other as Tajikistan displayed superior skill and strength to take absolute control.

The 2008 and 2010 editions of the event formed part of the qualifiers for the 15th Asian Cup as the winner of each edition – India, North Korea – entered for 16-teams finals at Qatar last January. Over 20,000 crowd at New Delhi’s Ambedkar stadium gave all out support to Indians and the men in blue scored thrice before the clock touched the 30-minute mark to lead India to a comprehensive 4-1 win over Tajikistan . Sunil Chhetri slammed hattrick – the first by an Indian ever in a final – and Bhaichung Bhutia added another to end the contest even before their opponents warmed up. Fatkhullo Falkuloev found the consolation goal but the early deficit proved too much for the defenders. The final was played on 13 August 2008 at make-shift venue as due to incessant rains in Hyderabad in the days leading up to the final, AFC changed the venue of the final and shifted it to New Delhi.

Two years later at Sri Lanka on 27 February 2010, Koreans outkicked Turkmenistan 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out after a tense 1-1 draw at Colombo ’s Sugathadasa Stadium with winner’s Ryang Yong-Gi canceling out Samyradow’s first half goal in the 75th minute. Goalkeeper Ju Kwang-min was the hero with crucially saved Arslanmyrat Amanov’s sudden-death penalty as DPR Korea completed a spirited comeback after playing for just under an hour with 10-men following Ryang Myong-il’s first-half dismissal.

Pakistan probables for AFC Challenge Cup

Goal keepers (3): Yousuf Ejaz Butt (Birkerod IF Skjold, Denmark), Amir Gul (NBP), Muhammad Omar (KESC)

Defenders (14) : Manzoor Ahmed (WAPDA), Alamgir Khan (Police), Ahsan Ullah (PEL), Obaid Majeed (KPT), Ansar Abbas (Army), Atif Bashir Qureshi (Barry Town, Wales), Reis Ashraf (Buckingham Town FC), Yaqoob Ijaz Butt (Herlev Idrætsforening FC, Denmark), Naveed Akram (WAPDA), Kamran Khan (KRL), Muhammad Ahmed (WAPDA), Muhammad Imran (Army), Samar Ishaq (KRL), Zeeshan Rehman (Muangthong United FC, Thailand)

Midfielders (12) : Faisal Iqbal (NBP), Syed Arif Hussain (WAPDA), Hussnain Abbas (PIA), Muhammad Tauseef (WAPDA), Muhammad Adil (KRL), Mahmood Khan (KRL), Irfan Khan (Bradford Park Avenue Association Football Club, England), Kashif Mumtaz Siddiqui (Fresno Fuego, USA ), Muhammad Waseem (KPT), Abdul Aziz (NBP), Nasr Ullah Khan (PIA), Adnan Farooq Ahmed (Aboomoslem FC, Iran)

Strikers (8) : Saddam Hussain (PIA), Fahad Ullah Khan (PTV), Jadeed Khan Pathan (WAPDA), Rizwan Asif (KRL), Kalim Ullah (KRL), Imran Niazi (WAPDA), Arif Mehmood (WAPDA), Muhammad Qasim (KRL).

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  1. Some very good players left out in this squad. Most notably Yasir Afridi (KRL) and Muhammad Ahmed (WAPDA).

    Muhammad Ahmed was one of our best performers in the Asian Games and its very strange how he has been left out for such a vital senior team action!

    Good to see Kashif Siddiqui back in the squad.

    I hope Zesh Rehman really makes a return to the squad. Last time he played for us was back in 2007!

  2. Yuousuf, Yaqoob, Reis and Irfan are out so that leaves with 33.

    Gauher can you do a check on who attended the training today from the seniors that have been called up?

    Kashif is a good addition, he plays football on the ground and can play at right back or wing…just need to work on the finishing.

  3. No Muhammad Essa? And isnt Reis Ashraf a Striker?

  4. There are so many other foreign based Pakistani players willing to play for the country. Why not call them up.

    I know its Tariq Lutfi, who doesn’t want the foreign players.
    Btw, never heard of Kashif Mumtaz Siddiqui (Fresno Fuego, USA ).

  5. Guys, we need to encourage Zesh Rehman to come & play for Pak…

    here’s the link… say something to him…!/pages/Zesh-Rehman/206498282493

  6. so we are left with shortage of plyers like yousaf,irfan,reis and yaquob. i hope that kashif and others may not treated in same way because kashif have the previlage to show his skills to lutfi once again after failing to impress him for pia trials as i reemember

  7. Not a bad selection, but Yasir Afridi and Nomi Martin Gill should be there. Samar Ishaq and Muhammad Imran must not be selected in the final squad.

    What is the deal with Adnan, Atif, and Zesh? Are they planning on coming?

    • Sorry, I just read the messages in the forum. So Adnan and Atif are arriving or have arrived tonight. Kashif is already there. And Zesh is waiting for an official call up.

      Any idea what role that German coach is playing, if any?

  8. yousuf ijaz butt and yaqoub ijaz butt are brothers rite??

  9. I think 3 best performers from olympic qualifiers and 3 from asian games should also been included as honor. than if they qualify on merit they should be played.. Atleast 1 or 2 under 21 player must be in the playing 11.

  10. Which squad will be moving to Palestine for away games. ?

  11. Squad that should travel:-
    GK: Amir Gul (NBP), Muhammad Omar (KESC)

    Defenders:Alamgir Khan (Police), Ahsan Ullah (PEL),Atif Bashir Qureshi (Barry Town, Wales), Samar Ishaq (KRL), Zeeshan Rehman (Muangthong United FC, Thailand)Manzoor Ahmed (WAPDA),Obaid Majeed (KPT), Ansar Abbas (Army)

    Midfielders: Muhammad Tauseef (WAPDA), Muhammad Adil (KRL), Mahmood Khan,Kashif Mumtaz Siddiqui (Fresno Fuego, USA ), Abdul Aziz (NBP), Adnan Farooq Ahmed (Aboomoslem FC, Iran)

    Forwards:Jadeed Khan Pathan (WAPDA), Rizwan Asif (KRL), Kalim Ullah (KRL), Imran Niazi (WAPDA), Arif Mehmood (WAPDA), Muhammad Qasim (KRL).

    This would be a very strong side and we can possibly qualify if we get the squad formation and tactics right>

    • tottaly flop defenders except 2. nd the poorest midfielder i ave ever seen . nd just show me any progress of da strikers in any game. except arifi.
      jadeed khan. rizwan. kaleem. oh GOD this country will never ever get a good future team.
      i bet even such squad wont b able to win a department of club.

  12. Kalim and Jadeed did nothing we should try new players. That scored hatricks in premiere league should be includede. and i think all foreigners should be played in first 11

  13. wat u guyz talkin about. if i make 1 team with da averge age that the team played agains maleysia nd pelastine i bet nd sure guarentee u that the team will win this two low ranking countries.
    but its out of my mind that what the hell they doin..

  14. guys when this match is going to start plsss reply m alsoo if zesh selected or not??????

    • yaar the matches have already been played and we have covered the results on our website! Zesh played.

      dont be afraid of searching the website :)

      • y it didnt come on air?? Ptv waly kaha mary/hoye hain?? Cricket mn kis ko flu howa kis ko kia howa us ki tu full coverage thi
        Ap logony dheikha hi nahi?? Pak kaha tak pohancha?kia result bana pls fill b in

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