The AFC Under-14 Festival of Football for South Asia had received a very warm response from members of the public, especially the youth. The local organising committee had prepared well for the Festival, as is evident by the many posters, banners and billboards in every place of the city inviting school students and parents to the event. The event was run by IR Iran Football Federation at Municipality Sports Complex, Hamedan, 336 KM from the capital Tehran. Pakistan was among eight participants along with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and host Iran. And officials from the AFC, led by its Project Manager Dr Shamil Kamil, Hamedan Football Association and various government agencies showed commitment to make sure the festival was a success. The Pakistani Under-14 squad was also in outstanding touch at the festival. The event, held in five regional locations, is less about competition and more about providing an arena to talented juniors from their respective regions to play against each other and forge bonds of friendship. The festival for the Central Asian region was held from March 13 to 26 in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent. The West Asian Festival was held from February 21 to March 6 at Doha, Qatar. The East Asian Festival was held in Beijing, China, from April 14 to 27 while the ASEAN event started on May 24 and would conclude on June 6 in Kota Kinabalu, in the Malaysian province of Sabah, in Borneo. The PFF President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat said that it was a regular programme of the AFC to groom the youngsters as future soccer players, acquainting them with finer points of the game in an environment of fair play. He also announced cash prizes to the members of Pakistan U14 team for their glorious display in the five day event. Faisal said that we were proud of our young players, and need to encourage and groom these players from this age so that they can grow up to become super stars at international level. The Cash Award Ceremony will be held at FIFA Football House, Lahore during which the PFF president would present cash prizes players and officials. Pakistan showed better commitment and managed 24 goals in nine matches. It turned out to be a fascinating and absorbing event for Pakistan who suffered only one defeat through out the five-day show, winning five matches and losing three matches. Awards Team coach Hassan Baloch would get Rs 100,000 while manager Asghar Khan Anjum, goal-keeping coach Noman Ibrahim and the 22 players Usman Khan (Bannu), Syed Hassan Mujtaba (Sargodha), Malik Dilshad Ahmed (Sargodha), Muneer Ahmed (Karachi) , Sajjad Ali (Quetta), Shahbaz Masih (Wazirabad), Zafar Ahmed (Karachi), Imtiaz Masih (Sargodha), Tanzeel Ishfaq (Faisalabad), Babar Faiz (Karachi), Raza Ali (Khanewal), Hassan Pervaiz (Sialkot), Haider Ali (Sargodha), Mohammad Zeeshan (Faisalabad), Bilal Asghar (Islamabad), Mohammad Sohail (Bannu), Mudassar Iqbal (Sargodha), Mohammad Bilal (Faisalabad), AshfaqUddin (Gilgit), Mohamamd Younas Saeed (Karachi), Rashid Noor (Faisalabad), Mohammad Umer Hayat (Okara) would get Rs 70,000 each. The PFF chief also announced individual awards of Rs 25,000 apiece for the Most Valuable Player Muneer Ahmed, top scorer Muhammad Bilal, best goalkeeper Usman Khan. The officials and players of the team praised the planning of Faisal Saleh Hayat, who allowed them a marathon camp at Lahore which helped the team management in noting the finer and lose points of each and every player. All the boys played superbly and got international exposure at Hamedan. The boys are very happy and are eagerly waiting for the award ceremony. They thanked PFF President for such a great gesture. This was first international event for most of the players. I hope, InshaAllah, these boys will continue even better performances in the future, said head coach Hassan Baloch. Highest Scorer The Muneer Ahmed-led Pakistan overwhelmed Maldives three times - 4-0, 2-0 and 5-0 while their other triumphs were against India4-2 and Bangladesh 8-0. They drew 1-1 with Nepal, and earned scoreless draw against Bangladesh, Iran and their lone defeat was against Iran 0-1. Pakistan proved too strong for all opponents and their performance was match able with Iran who managed 21 points as compared to Pakistans 18, followed by Afghanistan 15, Nepal 14, India 13, Bangladesh 8, Sri Lanka 5, Maldives 4. However, no team blocked Pakistan from scoring most goals in the event - 24 in nine matches (Iran came close with 22). Skills Test One of the features was May 21 skills test. The AFC introduced skills tests to give an opportunity to Under-14 players to practice the selected basic football skills and to test the current basic skills for these players in Asia and to identify talented players, said Faisal Saleh Hayat. The five flairs in the skills test were: Short Passing: The player shall make a short pass through the target goal from behind the base line (No. of attempts: 5). Long Passing: The player shall execute a long, aerial pass towards the target from behind the base line (No. of attempts: 5). Dribbling: The player shall dribble (slalom) between the five cones from the start line and upon reaching the end cone, turn and dribble back to the start line. He must cross the line with the ball within his playing distance. Upon recovery, the player shall make his second attempt (No. of attempts: 2). Juggling: The player, within the area, shall juggle the ball and must use various parts of the body except the arms and the hands. If the ball drops to the ground, the player is allowed to pick it up by his foot and continue juggling. If the player or the ball stray out of the circle, the counting shall stop until he or the ball moves back inside (No. of attempts: 2). Shooting: The player shall shoot at goal 16.45 meter away from the goal line. He shall not make a pass into goal and must be seen to actually shoot at goal with maximal effort (No. of attempts: 5). Pakistans Results Format I: Beat Maldives 4-0 and 2-0; beat India 4-2; drew with Bangladesh 0-0, drew with Iran 0-0 and lost to Iran 0-1. Format II: Drew with Nepal 1-1; beat Bangladesh 8-0; beat Maldives 5-0. Pakistani Scorers 7: Muhammad Bilal 3: AshfaqUddin, Muhammad Zeeshan 2: Hassan Pervez, Muneer Ahmed 1: Younus Saeed, Umer Hayat, Muhammad Sohail, Mudasar Iqbal, Shahbaz Masih, Raza Ali, Zafar Ahmed.