KARACHI: Pakistan under-16 football team on Thursday flew out of Lahore for Saudi Arabia to feature in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-16 Football Championship 2020 Qualifiers which will be held at the Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium, Dammam, from September 18 to 22.
The 23-member squad underwent a six-week training camp at Lahore under the supervision of Brazilian coach Jose Roberto Portella who had acted as Pakistan’s senior team trainer during 2018 and 2019 along with the Brazilian coach Jose Nogueira.
Pakistan have been bracketed in Group D with Saudi Arabia, Syria and Oman. Pakistan will play against Oman on September 18, Saudi Arabia on 20 and Syria on 22. Pakistan team would play two practice matches against local clubs in Dammam before starting their journey in the main event, a source said.
Pakistan team would also perform Umrah after the qualifiers, a source said.
FIFA is going to appoint a normalisation committee for Pakistan Football Federation (PFF). The world body has already interviewed a number of candidates. The under-16 team is being sent by the PFF Secretariat.
When FIFA decided to appoint a normalisation committee for the PFF, the executive committee lost its status. But PFF secretary Col Ahmad Yar Lodhi is still working as the secretary. He is also expected to work with the normalisation committee which is expected to be announced soon by FIFA.
Squad: Bilal Rabbani, Usman Ali, Mohib Ullah, Furqan Umar, Muhammad Sohaib, Khushal Khan, Ibrahim, Muhammad Idrees, Ibad Hussain, Muhammad Taha, Saad Khan, Adnan Justin, Sajeel Babar, Muhammad Haroon, Saqi Mubligh, Hammad, Shoaib, Iftikhar Ahmed, Amir Khan, Umer Butt, Moin Ahmed, Haider Abbas.
Officials: Jose Portella (head coach/manager), Asghar Anjum (assistant manager), Nouman Ibrahim (goalkeeping coach), Mehmood Khan, Ghulam Shabbir (both assistant coaches), Dr Adnan (physiotherapist), Mohammad Ashraf (media officer), Chaudhry Rasheed (head delegate).