KARACHI: Pakistan football team central midfielder Mohammad Tauseef died in Faisalabad late Monday night.
He was rushed to a hospital when his sugar level surged, ‘The News’ learnt on Tuesday.
One of his coaches said that he felt a sudden pressure on his kidneys and was taken to hospital where he expired.
He was laid to rest at the graveyard of his village 71 J/B Sarli (teekriwala) Jhang Road, Faisalabad after Zohr prayers on Tuesday.
A large number of people belonging to different walks of life attended his funeral.
The 26-year-old Tauseef shot to fame when he enchanted the viewers with his fine display at the Geo Super Football League in 2007 while representing Islamabad United. Tauseef then represented WAPDA in the Premier League and subsequently Pakistan.
Tauseef was part of Pakistan team in the 2010 Asian Games in China. He also played under the Serbian coach Zavisa Milosavlejevic.
In 2011 when Palestine visited Pakistan for a two-match series Tauseef had scored for Pakistan in the hosts’ 1-2 loss against the visitors in the first game at Lahore.
In the second outing held here at the Peoples Sports Complex on March 4, 2011, Tauseef saved a splendid goal before he developed a knee injury that kept him out of international action for some time.
Although for the last 21 months no football activities have been held because of the litigation between two groups, Tauseef remained focused on his fitness.
Tauseef last played for LESCO. Their coach Mohammad Habib told ‘The News’ on Tuesday that a couple of days ago he played a match and was in good health. “He trained hard and was feeling well,” Habib said. “His death is really shocking,” he added.
He said that being skipper of LESCO he was the backbone of his side that won under him last Inter-Unit event.
“He was not only a good player but also a decent human being. He was a disciplined boy,” Habib said.
Former Pakistan captain Tariq Lutfi said that when he was forming Pakistan team for Olympic qualifiers in 2011 he needed a gutsy central midfielder and found one in Tauseef. “He was a skilled player and I expected him to serve Pakistan for a long time. But unfortunately in the game against Palestine in Karachi he got injured which halted his international career,” Tariq told this correspondent.
“His death is a great loss for Pakistan,” said Tariq.
WAPDA coach Tanvir Ahmed said that he was set to return to major actions. “He was a real fighter. He had recovered after his knee surgery. He was also part of Challenge Cup held in Lahore in 2014,” Tanvir said.
“He was a fine midfielder and his death has really shaken all of us,” said Tanvir, a former international defender.
Pakistan’s experienced coach Hasan Baloch said that Tauseef was a quiet boy. “He was with us during the 2010 Asian Games in China. He and Saddam Hussain were in the same room. He talked very little,” Hassan recalled.
Pakistan’s assistant coach Sajad Mehmood said Tauseef was a great fighter. “He was a great fighter and decent player,” Sajjad said. Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Essa said he was a young player and played fine football in his short career which was hampered by injuries.
Former Pakistan assistant coach Nasir Ismail also paid tribute to Tauseef. “He was a young player and had almost recovered from his injury. It’s a huge loss for the country,” Nasir said.