Lahore, 2 March: Fourth-ever Pakistan-Palestine clash will be recorded on 4 Friday, 4 March 2011 when Karachi’s Peoples Sports Complex will stage the match. Karachi’s football followers will get a chance to witness a FIFA-recognized international game at their own soil after a lapse of more than five years Last time, Karachi hosted the international match on 1 March 2006 when Pakistan faced UAE in 14th Asian Cup Qualifiers.
Palestine Coach Moussa Bezaz welcomed international action for his Palestinian side and two matches in international circuit within three week. They who lost to Tanzania 0-1 on 9 February at Dar es Salaam’s Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium, but bounced back to win Punjab Stadium encounter 2-1 against Pakistan on Tuesday.
Franco-Algerian strategist Moussa Bezaz held the Palestinian national team reins since July 2009. Former coach Izzat Hamzah was sacked after Palestine failed to qualify for the AFC Challenge Cup 2010, finishing behind Nepal and Kyrgyzstan in March 2009. Bezaz, who has playing and coaching experience from his native France, including at top club Nancy, was happy about the coming 4-Test Series. He described Palestinian football potential as immense and as that which can explode if they were able to call all eligible Palestinian footballers from all over the world.
’We’re safe and proud to be in Pakistan. Palestine and Pakistan have always been together. The welcome we have received is great, thanks mainly to fantastic efforts of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat. “Although Pakistan lost the closely-fought encounter, match will be remembered for the 4,000 local and foreign spectators that filled the stands and cheered for their teams, sending a strong message to the world that Pakistan are back in contention to host foreign teams. The game spirit and excitement in the sport-deprived nation was all they carried as local football fans have almost forgotten the Sri Lankan team attack and believe the incident is now history. Pakistan is among the supportive countries of Palestinian cause. With organizing this first ever football match between the two teams on Pakistan soil, Pakistan has assured its extended support in all fields for the people of Palestine,” said PFF’s Secretary General Lt.Col ® Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi.
Mohammed Abu Srour, Palestine Head of Delegation, confirmed that Pakistan’s football team will be making their first-ever visit to Palestine in two months time with matches on 24 and 27 May at Faisal Al-Husseini International Stadium in Al-Ram, West Bank.
. “ The unforgettable journey of Palestinian footballers to Pakistan, would further strengthen existing bilateral relations between the two brotherly states.”
Bezaz, nephew of the Algerian footballer Yacine Bezzaz, expressed that his team would teach and learn from their Pakistani brethren as they are below five places in FIFA world Ranking. “My team changes on every tour owing to restrictions. To us it is not so important. The important thing is to play with [foreign] teams, 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.’’
2 April 2000 (Doha): Pakistan 0 Palestine 2 (Munasarah 1,Al-Heish 62)
18 Feb 2006 (Manama): Pakistan 0 Palestine 3 ( Fahed Attal 55,75, Fadi Salim 85)
1 March 2011 (Lahore): Pakistan 1 (Muhammad Tauseef 36) Palestine 2 (Murad Said 24, Hussam Wadi 30)