Sports Correspondent – The News
KARACHI: National footballers will assemble in Lahore on Tuesday (today) to resume training for the Al-Nakba Invitational Football tournament, which will be hosted by Palestine from May 1-15.
According to sources, the players have been asked to report for the camp by 4pm on Tuesday (today). Training will start on Wednesday (tomorrow), most probably at the Punjab Stadium.
“April 16 had been given as a tentative date for the camp. I think the players will report tomorrow,” Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi told ‘The News’ from Lahore on Monday. “Coach Mohammed Shamlan has reached this morning but I have not met him because I was on leave. Hopefully tomorrow we will have a meeting with him.”
Lodhi said that the team would leave for Palestine on May 1. “The organisers of the Al-Nakba tournament have said that the event will be held from May 1-15. We don’t yet have schedule of the tournament and the competing teams’ names,” Lodhi said. Shamlan, who had left for Bahrain after the camp had been halted on March 20 for the National Football Challenge Cup held here from March 25 to April 5, will supervise the camp.
Former international defender Tanvir Ahmed, Asghar Anjum and goalkeeping coach Aslam Khan will be in his support staff.
Hasan Baloch, the assistant coach, will not be able to attend the camp because he is doing the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Licence A coaching course in Bahrain. However, a source said Hasan may be part of the touring party as the course in Bahrain will complete on April 30.
The purpose behind the Palestine tour is to prepare the lot for the Asian Games, which will be held in South Korea from September 19 to October 4.
This will be the second time when Pakistan will be participating in the Al-Nakba tournament. When the team appeared in this event in 2012, Zavisa Milosavljevic was Pakistan’s coach.