KARACHI: National striker Saadullah believes that Pakistan would need to field a full-strength squad — including players who are part of foreign leagues — if they are to win the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship due to take place at the end of the year in India.
The Pishin-based footballer, who has been playing in the Maldives Premier League for the last six months, said that despite the infighting in the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) for the better part of the year, the national side should compete in Kerala where they will be up against India in their opening match.
“Pakistan can be the best team in the tournament only if the PFF decides to call all players from abroad,” Saadullah told The Express Tribune. “This year, our domestic players didn’t get enough exposure or practice as there was no Pakistan Premier Football League to play either. We will need a complete squad to win this. I feel ours will be the best side then.”
Saadullah pointed out that Kaleemullah, — currently playing in the US — and Saddam Hussain (Bahrain) can come back to Pakistan on national duty, while foreign-based players like Hassan Bashir (Denmark) and Zesh Rehman (UK) should also join the team for the important regional tournament.
The 22-year-old will be heading back to Maldives on October 21 to compete for BG Sport FC in the last phase of the league. “My contract will expire in a month and 20 days while the league in Maldives will also finish on November 20, so I want to leave on a high note,” he concluded.