KARACHI: Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) champions K-Electric (KE) will become the first club from the country to feature an English Premier League youth product when they head to Bangladesh for the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup, which is scheduled to begin from October 20.
Not only that, KE will also have a female coach, national women’s team manager Raheela Zarmeen, as part of the contingent that travels to Bangladesh — another first for Pakistan.
“We will be bringing in an Everton academy product, Jon Ashworth, and a third Nigerian defender Okpala Michael to our camp this time,” KE Head of Sports Marketing and Brand Activation Zabe Khan told The Express Tribune. “We also want to give exposure to women and show that they can work at an all-men’s club and Zarmeen will be a great addition to our coaching staff.”
The tournament, which needed the intervention of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) President Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat to allow KE to participate at the event as the Bangladesh Football Federation had rejected their application, claiming the documents were sent late, features two clubs from India, while Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the hosts would feature one team each.
“We want to thank Hayat and [PFF secretary] Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi for this opportunity, they really put their efforts in assuring our place in Bangladesh,” said Zabe, while further adding that UEFA certified coach Majid Shafiq, who led the club to the second round of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup qualifiers, will also return to the camp, which begins on October 11, to train the team.