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NBP Fooball Cup to start next week

Alam Zeb Safi [The News]

KARACHI: National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Football Cup 2011, formerly known as National Challenge Cup, will be held at two different venues in Faisalabad from April 14 to 27 as the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) announced draws on Friday for the 16-team extravaganza.

This is the second major spectacle in the domestic slots after the Pakistan Premier League which takes centre stage with a bulky flux of encounters. As per draws, the sixteen teams have been placed in four different groups. Group A carries WAPDA, Navy, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and Ashraf Sugar Mills while Group B contains KRL, PAF, HBL and ZTBL. PIA, KPT, Police and PTV have been adjusted in Group C while KESC, Army, Railways, and PMC have been bracketed in Group D.

The event will be held on round robin and the two leading teams of each group after group stage competition will move into the quarter-finals which will be held from April 21 to 23. The semifinals will be conducted on April 24 and 25 while the final will be held on April 27. The match for the third place will be held on April 26.

The event will be held at the Bohranwali Ground Club Road Jinnah Bagh and the PMC Football Ground simultaneously. The matches will start at 2:00pm and 4:00pm respectively.

One of the prime clubs of the country Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) will defend the title and Pakistan head coach Tariq Lutfi, who has joined KRL only few days back as head coach cum consultant after getting retirement from PIA, will serve as head coach of the defending champions.

The national champions WAPDA will field their second string in the competition as their senior team will leave for Kathmandu on April 18 to feature in the AFC President’s Cup Group C slots at the Dashrath Stadium from April 20 to 24.

Hosts Punjab Medical College (PMC) will be coached by former Pakistan coach Akhtar Mohiuddin who joined it more recently.

Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Essa, who will reach Faisalabad from his hometown in Chaman on April 13, will lead KESC while another former Pakistan captain and experienced gloveman Jaffar Khan will lead former national champions Army during the tournament.

Six current FIFA referees, two former FIFA referees and eleven national and local referees will supervise the spectacle.

Fixtures: April 14: PAF v HBL. April 15: ZTBL v KRL, KPT v Police, PTV v PIA. April 16: WAPDA v Ashraf Sugar Mills, Bahawalpur, Navy v NBP, KESC v PMC, Army v Railways.

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  1. Why isn’t SSGC included in this competition?

  2. Haroon Yousaf bhai won the NAtional Bank Cup 4 times with Allied Bank Limited. Will he get his fifth with Akhter mohi-PMC ?. Other winners are :
    2 : Pakistan Army, Faisalabad’s Crescent Textile Mills, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited, Khan Research Laboratories (KRL)
    1 : Karachi Port Trust, Quetta’s Marker Club, National Bank of Pakistan, Frontier Constabulary, Habib Bank Limited, Pakistan International Airlines, Sindh Government Press, Pakistan Navy.

  3. New KRL coach Lutfi taking nothing for granted

    Lahore, 9 April: New head coach of Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) soccer team Tariq Lutfi has played down Kahuta-based team’s ‘favorites’ tag, insisting he will only be able to assess his side’s chances after their opener in Group-B. KRL will go all out to compete hat-trick of triumphs after gold at Hyderabad 2009 and Multan 2010. The 21st National Bank Cup will run from 14-27April 2011 at Faisalabad’s Bohranwali Ground and PMC Ground.

    Infact, KRL brushed aside Tariq Lutfi-managed PIA when they won the 19th edition final at Hyderabad’s HESCO Complex 1-0 through Muhammad Qasim’s lone strike two years ago. Pakistan Premier Football League 2010 was last spell for Lutfi in PIA colors who lifted the team to bronze-medals as manager and earlier helped them winning the National Championship six times: 1976, 1978, 1981 as player, and 1989, 1992, 1997 as official.

    Pakistan’s No.2 team KRL are placed in a group that also features Habib Bank Limited (HBL), Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and newcomer Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), and while some are predicting a straight forward run to the quarter-final, Lutfi believes that the tremendous, handsome work by Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat over the years has levelled the playing field. No one can underestimate PAF and HBL who won the National Championships in 80s while ZTBL have a tough keeper Saqib Hanif.

    “Perhaps we are in a not so difficult group but a match is a match and we still have to go out there and get a favorable result,” said Lutfi who is also Pakistan Women and Men Team coach, and having coaching qualifications from Holger Osieck, current coach of the Australia.

    PFF announced the four groups of he competition. National Champions and National Games gold Medallist WAPDA are in Group-A with the former Champions NBP (1993) and Pakistan Navy (2008) with little-known Ashraf Sugar Mills of Bahawalpur completing the number. WAPDA, who will field understrength team following matches in 7th AFC President’s Cup from 20-24 April at Kathmandu, had won the National title eight times, but are still awaiting their maiden National Challenge Cup title. Meanwhile, the millmen had a disappointing debut last year in 20th edition, losing to KRL 0-7, KESC 0-8 and HBL 0-3.

    Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the arch rivals in Karachi domestic soccer and whose match drew large crowd attention, are in Group-C with Pakistan Television (PTV) and new PPFL team Pakistan Police.

    Host PMC Athletico Club Faisalabad are pitted against 2000, 2001 Champion Pakistan Army in Group-D as well as Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) and Pakistan Railways in Group-D. KESC and Railways had never won the competition that was launched at Sukkur in 1979.

    “Our first target is to do well in the Group-B and for that we shall try our best.”We have very little knowledge about newly-formed ZTBL in our group. We only know that PAF made themselves runner-up in the 1994 edition and HBL pocketed 1985 edition and that they cannot be taken lightly.”

    “We would have to take it as it comes, see how the players perform and hopefully I can pick the right players and make the necessary changes as the game progresses. “We have had some problems on the tactical side but not as with team spirit. “Team spirit is good and that’s an important factor because this is a team game. These players haven’t played too many matches together last year due to China’s Asian Games.”

    “We have had a pretty hectic schedule with the PPFL coming in June so many players are carrying a few niggles but that is something we have to overcome. “Nobody can say with confidence that they will win this tournament for sure. Every team wants to win and go forward. It’s the same with us. We have to score as many goals as possible and progress to final.”

  4. a-o-a

    short of player.

  5. a-o-a

    we don’t have football players profile like cricket association do.
    it is difficult to analysis player profile to inducting in any department,so please do some effort on making this kind of profile in your side.


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