Lahore, 1 Oct : Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has called Danish-based brothers – Yousuf Butt, Yaqoob Butt – in the build up for the National U23 team to appear in soccer event of XVI Asian Games to be held under Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) at Chinese city Guangzhou from 12-27 November 2010. The camp is in progress at Lahore’s Punjab Stadium and Model Town Football Academy Ground with players are being accommodated at FIFA Football House’s hostels.
Yousuf used to play as goalkeeper in Danish 1st Division for the Copenhagen’s Hellerup Idræts Klub (HIK). He was born on 18 October 1989. His elder brother, Yaqoob Butt is a Canadian-born Danish footballer who currently plays for the Jaegersborg BK club as defender.It is first-time calls-up for Shani Qayum (Sheffield Wednesday Youth) while Fraaz Ahmed (Nottingham) attended the two-day Rotherham tryouts for selecting budding football players of Pakistan origin which were held on 28 ,29 July 2007 at Herringthorpe Playing Fields, South Yorkshire, arranged by PFF Director Marketing Sardar Naveed Haider. He find spot in squad, alongwith other foreigners Zesh Rehman, Adnan Farooq Ahmed, Amjad Iqbal, Iltaf Ahmed, Adam Luke Karim, Fouzal Azeem Bashir, Assad Ahmad, Suffean Mahmood, announced for two-legged World Cup Qualifiers against Iraq but failed to enter turf of Punjab Stadium and
The four players, alongwith Atif Bashir (Barry Town), were in line-up of a Pakistan Selection which faced Woking FC in a pre-season fixture at Kingfield Stadium, Surrey on 1 August 2010. Of the five European-based soccerities, only Berlin-born Atif had represented Pakistan earlier in SAFF Championship 2008, 2009, 3rd AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers 2009 and 11th SA Games 2010.
“While they are citizens of various European countries, the players are eligible to wear color of Pakistan because of their family heritage ” said Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat who had approved 48 probables in the provisional squad submitted for participation in the coming Asian Games 2010. Later on, the eight-day conditioning camp at Lahore’s Model Town Football Academy Ground during Ramzan Ul Mubarak saw the exit door for 13 players, and further eleven today to announce 24 players. The Camp will be comprised of three goal keepers, eight defenders eight midfielders and five strikers
“The availability of foreign players is broadening our base and opening doors to Pakistanis around the world who want to play football. We want to boost PPFL with foreign players and, above all, improve national squad. We are taking seriously the coming Asian Games where our U23 team will go all out. Several talented players of Pakistan origin are living abroad and we are well prepared to utilize their skill for our coming assignments in international soccer circuit. We will continue to dig out football players of Pakistani heritage for the betterment of Pakistani soccer,” assured Faisal who is also AFC Disciplinary Committee Chairman and FIFA Disciplinary Committee member.
The final 20-man squad is to be announced by coach Akhtar Mohiuddin oon the eve of four-week foreign Training Camp, expected to be installed at South Korea just before the Opening Ceremony of Games at Haixinsha Island in the Pearl River. Pakistani football team was deleted from the Asian Games on 28 June, but Faisal-led PFF pushed the POA to include it in the contingent by offering to bear the expenses of the team’s participation in the Asian Games and National U23 team made re-entry on 27 August. Since 2002 Busan Games, football at the Asian Games changed to age-limit and now it is a “U23 + 3 overage” tournament.
Following are 24 probables in Asian Games Camp
Goal Keepers (3): Amir Gul (NBP), Jaffar Khan (Army), Yousuf Butt (Hellerup IK, Denmark)
Defenders (8): Haider Ali (WAPDA), Umer Farooq (KESC), Samar Ishaq (KRL), Ahsan Ullah (PEL), Aurangzaib (HBL), Muhammad Ahmed (WAPDA), Atif Bashir (Barry Town), Yaqoob Butt ( Jægersborg BK, Denmark)
Midfielders (8): Mehmood Khan (KRL), Yasir Afridi (KRL), Muhammad Adil (KRL), Muhammad Tauseef (Islamabad), Abbas Ali (NBP), Faisal Iqbal (NBP), Muhammad Rashid (PEL), Zain Ullah (WAPDA)
Strikers (5): Kalim Ullah Khan (KRL), Rizwan Asif (KRL), Saddam Hussain (NBP), Shani Qayum ( Sheffield Wednesday Youth), Faraz Ahmed (Nottingham)