Lahore, 14 March: Federal Secretary Sports Aziz Ahmed Bilour has hailed the handsome efforts of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat and said recent visits of two foreign teams from Middle East and South East Asia from to Pakistan and have restored everyone’s confidence and the sporting country like Pakistan, the record holder in SA Games Soccer with four golds, now look forward to deal with bigger events of international circuit in the forthcoming days.
“The arrival of Malaysian U21 team after Palestinian National team signaled the revival of sporting events in the country. It’s a good step that foreign teams have started coming to Pakistan which will send positive message across the world.
Aziz was also chief guest of Pakistan-Malaysia Olympics Qualifier last Wednesday and he watched the intruing match at Punjab Stadia with Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat and Pakistan Sports Board Director General Syed Amir Hamza Gilani .
The country’s sports suffered a major setback when the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked by the terrorists in Lahore on 3 March 2009 compelling the visiting team to return back to their country without completing the cricket series. The attacck occurred when a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers, part of a larger convoy, was fired upon by 12 gunmen, near the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The cricketers were on their way to play the third day of the 2nd Test against the Pakistani team. Six members of the Sri Lanka team were injured while six Pakistani policemen and two civilians were killed. These were the first attacks on a national sports team since the massacre of Israeli athletes in Munich Olympics 1972.
Exactly two years later, foreign football teams started to land at Pakistan as PFF do what the country’s major sports like cricket and hockey have failed to do – bring international teams to the country. Palestine National team faced Pakistan in the Lahore Test on 1 March, followed by Karachi encounter on 4 March. Today, Pakistan Olympic Team collided with Malaysian Olympic Team in the second leg of London Olympic Qualifiers.
“It’s a good step that foreign teams have started coming to Pakistan which will send positive message across the world,” said Pakistan Olympic Association (POA)’s President Lt. Gen (R) Syed Arif Hasan.”The arrival of Palestinians, Malaysia within in Pakistan within nine days have restored everyone’s confidence and signal the revival of sporting events in the country,” The nation now look forward to staging bigger events in the near future.”
During a Meet with PFF Chief at FIFA Football House, Aziz has lauded the invaluable contributions of Faisal Saleh Hayat for the promotion of football in Pakistan and said lately football was on a upward trend in Pakistan .” Pakistan has come a long way in terms of level of competitiveness in the last seven years and PFF management deserves praise for making solid efforts for the promotion of football’, said Sports Secretary “I firmly believe that PFF would continue its journey in right direction under the leadership of Faisal”. He is also convinced the standard of the game in Pakistan has greatly improved in recent years and Pakistan was unfortunate not to capitalize on the chances they received.