ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) president Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat Friday termed SAFF Women’s Soccer Championship a huge success and hoped it would open floodgates of international sports in the country.

Talking to The Nation, Faisal said: “For the last four or five years, Pakistan was treated like ‘no go area’ by the international sports bodies and not a single event was allocated to it. But now the situation is change, as we have proved that Pakistan is a top level sports organising country and can host high-profile events well and can provide international standard facilities to the visiting teams.”

He said no one could even think about promoting game without finances. “I am grateful to sponsors who supported us in conducting the SAFF championship, but I urge more to come forward and lend a helping hand to the federation.”

He said the team selection was purely on merit, as no one could interfere in it.

“If I could not give dictations to the selection committee then who could dare to do so?”

“Soccer is arguably world’s No 1 sport and people invest heavily in this game, but in Pakistan, situation is quite different, but now things are moving in right direction. I am grateful to media, as without their support, we could not even think about hosting this event. I request sports lovers, especially residence of Rawalpindi and Islamabad to turn up in numbers and not only support national team but also the visiting teams,” Faisal concluded.