KARACHI: Pakistan team will leave for Lisbon, Portugal, on Friday (tomorrow) to participate in the 32-team inaugural Socca Football World Cup, which will start from September 23.
The team is scheduled to leave for Dubai from Karachi in the afternoon on September 21. From there the team will take a flight for Madrid, Spain. The team will then take a bus for Lisbon, the city which will be hosting all matches of the mega event.
Team manager Zabe Khan told PPI visas of all players and officials had arrived. “Everything is in place for the team’s participation in the inaugural Socca World Cup and we hope to put up a good show,” said Zabe, who is a former K-Electric football team manager.
“The team has been training well and has also played a few practice games,” Zabe said. Pakistan are in Group ‘B’ along with Spain, Russia and Moldova in the six-a-side tournament. The 32 teams have been divided into eight groups. After playing matches against one another in the group, two top teams from each group will qualify for last-16 knockout round.
In July this year, Leisure Leagues Pakistan (LLP) organised an eight-team LLP National Championship, with the winners of the tournament to get a chance to participate in Socca World Cup.
Lahore’s ten-member ICAW (I Can and Will) team won the tournament and qualified for the Socca World Cup. Four players were later added to the squad — one each from the other three semi-finalist teams and one from Pakistan team that featured in Street Child World Cup.
The tournament allows teams to bring as many as 15 players.
Pakistan squad: Afaq Ahmed, Hafiz Muhammad Waleed, Umer Javeed, Haider Ali, Saad Ali Khan, Zaid Mehmood, Aamir Iqbal Gondal, Abdul Hanan Javad, Zabi Ullah Warraich, Zubair Adil (Lahore), Muhammad Alamgir (Peshawar), Muhammad Kashif (Quetta), Zafar Khan (Karachi), Sameer Ahmed (Street Child World Cup). Officials: Tariq Lutfi (Coach), Zabe Khan (Team Manager), Shahroze Rizvi (Assistant Manager), Mohammad Asif (Media Manager).