PESHAWAR: As many 64 football clubs will competing against each other from 21 cities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and nearly 960 young footballers of the province will get the opportunity to showcase their talent in the Ufone Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tournament which kicks off in Mansehra and Dera Ismail Khan on Wednesday (today).
The final of the championship will be played under flood lights at Tamas Khan Football Stadium here at Peshawar Nov 22.
The first leg of the tournament qualifiers will be played in the cities of Mansehra, Abbottabad, Haripur, Chitral, Lower and Upper Dir, Swat, Buner, Malakand, Sawabi, Mardan, Charssadda, Nowshera, Peshawar, Kohat, Hangu, Karak, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, D.I. Khan and Tank. The cities have been divided into four regions i.e. Hazara, Malakand, Peshawar and Kohat.
The top two teams from each region will qualify for the Super 8 stage of the tournament. The Super 8 matches will be played on November 18 and 19, with top 4 progressing into the semifinals which will take place on 20 November.
The championship builds on the success of the Ufone Balochistan football tournament, for which three editions have taken place from 2017 onwards. The latest edition was held in March 2019 where Afghan Chaman FC lifted the trophy as champions of the tournament.
The organisers believe that there is immense talent amongst the passionate footballers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and this tournament could provide them a chance to show their skills to the whole nation.
Unfortunately, opportunities for footballers in the province have been rare & few in the past but with the initiation of Ufone football tournament the situation is expected to change for the better. The league can open fresh avenues for youth, enabling them to shine and be recognized for their talent.