LAHORE: Almost all of the selected foreign-based Pakistani footballers reported to the Pakistan football team training camp, which is in progress in Bahrain as the national side prepares for its 2022 World Cup qualifier first leg against Cambodia to be held in Qatar on June 6.
According to a press release issued by the Pakistan Football Federation (Faisal Saleh Hayat group), defender Zesh Rehman. who plays in Hong Kong, will be the last probable to join the camp in the next couple of days.
“Morale of the green shirts is sky high and the boys are shaping well in the camp for the match against Cambodia,” Pakistan head coach Jose Anotnio Nogueira was quoted as saying.
“We will field a best combination against Cambodia to win the match.”
The players, who are attending the camp are, Umer Hayat, Ali Khan Niazi, Abdullah Qazi, Mohammad Riaz, Raees Nabi, Naveed Rehman, Ali Uzair Mehmood, Shahban Hussein, Ahmad Fahim, Samir Nabi, Mehmood Khan, Tabish Hussain, Mohammad Ali, Hassan Bashir. Besides Zesh, others who still have to join are Yaqoob Ijaz and Mohammad Adnan Yaqoob.
Pakistan are ranked 197th in the world amd have managed to play only five international matches since March 2018 when the FIFA affiliated PFF got back the control of the affairs from the court appointed administrator.
The camp in Bahrain is organised by the FIFA-recognised PFF, headed by Hayat, whose opponent group, lead by Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah is recognised by the government of Pakistan.
Ashfaq has said he has also set up a national team training camp in Islamabad for the match against Cambodia. A fact finding commission of FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation is also set to tour Pakistan from May 28 to hear Ashfaq’s point of view before giving its final verdict about Pakistan’s status.
Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2019