The 7th Edition of the HBL Karachi United School Championship (HBL KUSC) will kick off on 26th December (today) with defending Champions, Karachi Grammar School (KGS) facing Army Public School in the opening g fixture at the Baloch Mujahid Stadium. In a unique development for schools’ football, HBL, the Title Sponsors, announced that Geo Super would air the semis and final live.
At the draw held at Southshore School, five time Champions, KGS who were the seeded team in Group ‘A’ were joined by Army Public School, Nixor College and Foundation Public School, in the toughest of the four Groups. Former KGS star, Kareem Kerai will lead the Nixor team who are being tipped as one of the favourites alongwith KGS, St. Patricks, Southshore and 2009-10 Champions, Lyceum.
KU Officials, Khowaja Obaid Ilyas and Furkan Ali conducted the draw and confirmed that they expected this year’s event to be toughest and best ever. The seeded teams were joined in the main draw by the likes of Foundation Public School, Beaconhouse PECHS, BVS Parsi High School and others.
Group B comprises last year’s surprise runn er up, Southshore, City School PAF, Bayview High and Beaconhouse Jubilee Campus. Beaconhouse Jubilee who have previously consistently alongwith Southshore although City PAF and Bayview will be keen to upset the form book.
Lyceium lead by Taha Rehman appear to have been handed a relatively easier passage to the quarters as they are placed in Group C alongwith BVS Parsi High School, Beaconhouse PECHS and Commecs. Lyceum had broken KGS’ strangehold on the title in the 5th Edition of the event, when a strong outfit leaf by then captain, Daniyal Mirza had shocked KGS 4-3 in the final. Howver, last year =, they were unexpectedly beaten by Southshore in the semis.
The last Group i.e. Group D features twice runners up, St. Patrics High School joined by Beaconshouse Gulshan, St. Michaels and Aga Khan Secondary High School.
After the draw, KGS Captain, Shaezsr Razi Azmat , appeared confident that this school would be able to retain their title but acknowledged that they would face stiff competition from the likes of Lyceum, Nixor and Southshore, amongst others.
The Group matches will run from 26th December through to 3rd January 2012 with the top two teams from each Group qualifying for the quarter finals. The semis and finals are scheduled for the second week of January.