by Riaz Ahmed
The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) was congratulated for being recently given the right to host the 2012 AFC U14 Festival of Football Central Region by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Under the leadership of PFF President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, it shows the confidence the AFC has in giving Pakistan another chance to host international football when the country has been starved of hosting international sports events in recent years because of security concerns.
These views were expressed in unison by FPDC Karachi correspondent & journalist Riaz Ahmed, the officials of Karachi’s DFAs, and football lovers across Pakistan who thanked the AFC and praised PFF President for securing the rights of holding such an important football event next year. Such a step shows that the world of football has confidence in Pakistan’s ability to host international events.
When Lahore hosted the 3rd AFC President’s Cup in 2007, the PFF President, General Secretary Lt Col (Retd) Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi, Director Operations Wng Cmdr (Retd) Pervaiz Saeed Mir, and their colleagues showed superb administration and organisational skills in hosting such a mega event in Pakistan. Such an event brought international football teams to come and play in Pakistan without any fear. It showed Pakistan is a peace-loving country that loves football.
The focus and keen interest on youth development shown by PFF President has paid dividends for Pakistani football in recent years and has received tremendous praise from both AFC and FIFA. It was with this confidence that Pakistan was given the right to host the 2012 AFC U14 Festival of Football for Central Region teams (Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan) by the AFC.
It is urged that the event’s organisation be given supreme dedication and commitment to ensure its timely preparation and success next year, and for creating a strong Pakistan U14 side that can show its mettle in face of quality Central Asian opponents as well as Asian football giants Iran.
The holding of provincial and regional U14 tournaments across Pakistan, as well as a National U14 Championship must be held in due course that can help find the best group of young players to represent their country next year. The AID-27 coaches and football officials from provincial & regional levels should be used by PFF to make this dream come true with full dedication and commitment to the cause.
Such steps by PFF will ensure the success of such international events in Pakistan as well as finding new talent across the country.