Sports Correspondent – The News
KARACHI: FATA Olympic Association is going to hold an international football tournament at the Qayyum Sports Complex in Peshawar from May 7 to 15, an official of the association told ‘The News’ on Monday.
“We have decided to hold a tournament in which Bangladesh’s Mohammedan Club and a team from Nangarhar province of Afghanistan will also participate,” FATA Olympic Association’s secretary Shahid Shinwari told this correspondent. The foreign teams have already confirmed their entries, Shahid claimed.
The foreign teams will be joined in the historic tournament by the National Football Challenge Cup winners Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA.
“We have told PAF officials and they have agreed to feature in the tournament. They will send the documents of their players soon,” the official said. PAF recently won the NFCC title after beating K-Electric 3-1 in the final here at the KPT Stadium.
Shahid, a former Pakistan footballer, said that it was his dream to hold such an event and being the association’s secretary he was now confident to conduct it in a befitting manner. “I have also requested the KP Governor and some others for funds, but so far I have not received any response from them,” said Shinwari.
He said that he had a solid publicity plan to attract big crowds.
Shahid said that water-tight security arrangements would be made and foreign teams would face no problems during their stay.
Shahid said that if this initiative was successful he would hold more such tournaments in future which would bring back the lost beauty of the province as a sports-friendly region.
He pointed out that football had been damaged in the province because of the lack of skilled hands in the associations. “Former health minister Zahir Ali Shah, who heads the KP Football Association, is not a technocrat and that is the main reason why our province is lagging behind in football. We need skilled hands who know about the game and who know how it is developed,” Shahid said.