Lahore, 11 April : Bohranwali Ground, the venue of 1995 Asian Club Championship clash between Crescent Textile Mills and Sri Lanka’s Saunders FC, will become the 21st host to organize the final of National Bank Cup on 27 April 2011. PFF approved two venues for the coming event provided by host PMC Athletico Club Faisalabad. Bohranwali Ground, situated on Club Road, near Bagh-i-Jinnah, will act as main venue with 19 matches while PMC Ground will be utilized as Ground No.2 for rest of 32-match show.
The event has been revitalized after 2005 on instructions of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President and AFC ExCo member Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat. It is an event for organizational and services team of Pakistan who used to appear in top-two Divisions of PFF. PMC Athletico snatched entry on account of being host thus becoming first club in history to play in the event. Their success might pave the way for other clubs to play in forthcoming tournies.
The history of the event, incepted at Sukkur in 1979, orbitted around 32 years with most successful team Allied Bank Limited lifted the title four times. Pakistan Army, Faisalabad’s Crescent Textile Mills, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) grabbed the gold on two occasions while single-time winners were Karachi Port Trust, Quetta’s Marker Club, National Bank of Pakistan, Frontier Constabulary, Habib Bank Limited, Pakistan International Airlines, Sindh Government Press and Pakistan Navy.
Sukkur’s Municipal Stadium was the first-ever venue of National Football Challenge Cup while Quetta’s crowd-pull Sadiq Shaheed Park Stadium, famous as Mali Bagh, host the final four times. Karachi’s KMC Stadium, Peoples Sports Complex and Bahawalpur’s Dring Stadium played host to final twice. Faisalabad’s Peoples Colony Ground, Lahore’s Railway Stadium, Gujranala’s Jinnah Stadium, Quetta’s Ayub Stadium, Chaman’s Govt High Schoool Ground, Peshawar’s Tehmas Khan Stadium, Rawalpindi’s Army Sports Complex, Hyderabad’s HESCO Complex and Multan’s Qasim Bagh Stadium also saw the final of event once.
The 21st National Bank Football Cup will also commence at Bohranwali Stadium, formerly known Company Bagh Ground, to be played from 14-27 April 2011.One side who will be among minnows will be PMC Athletico, coached by one of the top coaches of Pakistan presently, Akhtar Mohiuddin. PMC will be backed by the local support and will definitely enjoy home crowd support at both stadia. Akhtar called ageing Haroon Yousuf as one of his key player who captained Pakistan from 1999-2003 and was four times gold medallist of the event with ABL in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2002. Mandi Bahauddin-born Haroon will go for his fifth gold under banner of a terrific football promoter and former youth International Rai Saif Ur Rehman Bhatti’s outfit.
21st National Bank Cup at Faisalabad’s Bohranwali Ground & PMC Ground (14-27 April 2011)
Group A: Pakistan WAPDA, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Pakistan Navy, Bahawalpur’s Ashraf Sugar Mills (ASM)
Group B: Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), Habib Bank Limited (HBL), Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL)
Group C: Karachi Port Trust (KPT), Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Pakistan Television (PTV), Pakistan Police
Group D: Faisalabad’s PMC Athletico Club, Pakistan Army, Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC), Pakistan Railways