KARACHI: The opening draw for the 7th edition of HBL Karachi United School Championship was held at the Southshore School on Tuesday. The competition is all set to kick off from January 12 as the 32 participating teams have been divided into 8 groups of 4 participants each. The draw was held in the presence of Tournament Director; Furqan Ali, Coordinator; Usman Iqbal, Organising Secretary; Riaz Ahmed and Khawaja Obaid Ilyas from Amman Foundation, while representatives from each of the 32 teams were also present.
This year’s championship will see Nixor College begin their title defence versus Beaconhouse School Clifton in the opening fixture at the Aga Khan Gymkhana Ground, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, January 12. Four top teams from the tournament’s previous edition; Nixor College, City School PAF Chapter, Aga Khan High School and St. Patrick’s High School entered the draw as group leaders. Two teams from each group will advance to the first knockout phase of the tournament which will see the 32 teams being reduced to 16 and then 8 in the quarterfinal stage.
Last year’s competition saw Nixor College being crowned champions for the first time, against City School PAF chapter in a nerve-wracking final played at the Baloch Mujahid Stadium in Korangi. The semi-final stage and the final of last year’s competition were also the first “school level” football matches to be telecast live on national television.
Groups and fixtures for this year’s competition are as follows.