Karachi United Football Club, announced today, that it has been invited to tour Qatar with its Academy team to train and play matches versus Aspire Academy, Al Sadd and other local clubs. The team will depart on 17 September 2011 to Doha for its 5 day tour.
This is yet another feather in Karachi United’s cap given the Club’s track record of having secured previous tours to Manchester United, Charlton Athletic Academy, Qatar and its emphasis on youth development. Karachi United will play 5 matches over 9 days whilst in Qatar.
Head coach Adeel Rizki said ‘the reason why this tour to Qatar is even more special than previous ones is because we are playing a fixture against Aspire Academy. Aspire had recently defeated Manchester United in the final of the Milk Cup in Ireland and regularly host the best academies in the world such as Barcelona, AC Milan and Bayern Munich so there is nothing like putting yourself up against the best. Our other matches include the likes of Al Sadd who regularly play in the Asian Champions League so it should be a great learning opportunity for us’.
Of note is the fact that in the squad of the 19 players, there are 5 that have been selected from the Karachi United Football Foundation (KUFF) Centers of Excellence. KUFF is a not-for-profit organization and its Centers of Excellence have been operating across Karachi’s inner-city areas since June 2010 with the objective of ‘community development and social uplift of youth through football, education and health awareness’. Coach Arshad Jamal commented ‘We are very proud of the fact that we can give these kids that do not come from very privileged backgrounds such an opportunity. They have been working very hard with the rest of squad and I am positive this will be the start of a journey that shows that such opportunities are available if you work hard, no matter where you come from’.
The trip is of special significance given Qatar’s recent achievement to host the FIFA 2022 World Cup. Tour manager Arshian Ali said ‘Developing long term and sustainable relationships with Aspire Academy and clubs in Qatar, such as Al Sadd, is a key component of Karachi United’s strategy. It is no doubt that Qatar has a big role to play in football development in Asia and we want to partner with them to make Asian and Pakistan football a success. Opportunities around youth and coach development are absolutely critical for the football landscape in Pakistan’.
Squad: Ali Raza, Atif Sachak, Benedict Plant, Changaiz Shafi, Erhaan Ahmed, Hassan Saad (Vice Captain), Iskander Pataudi, Jibraan Fawad, Kareem Kerai (Captain), Mehmood Ali Shah, Noman Tahir, Omar Akbar, Radif ul Hassan, Rafey Salahuddin, Salman Raheem, Shabbir Habib, Shaezer Razi, Zaid Yahya, Yasir Siddiqui. Officials Adeel Rizki, Arshad Jamal and Arshian Ali.
Karachi United also announced that it will be undertaking a tour of Lahore, Faisalabad and Islamabad in the near future with its Youth Academy teams.