LAHORE - Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) president Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat has urged the government to help the federation in hosting the 3rd SAFF Women Championship successfully.
After hosting the U-16 AFC Qualifiers, Pakistani football will be on the right track once more as they welcome the best ladies teams of the region in November next year.
In an exclusive interview with The Nation, Faisal said: “The SAFF Women Championship is a mega event which is going to be held in Pakistan in November this year. The government must come forward to help the federation in hosting this international event in a befitting manner as it will be good for the future of women football in Pakistan and will also portray a better image of the country across the globe.”
The PFF chief said that top eight teams of the region would partake in the mega event. “Pakistan is in the Group A along with Bangladesh, India and Nepal while Group B comprising Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bhutan and Maldives. I expect very entertaining and thrilling competitions among the participating teams.”
“Football has very big fan base in Pakistan, who are very crazy for international football leagues. I urge them to come and fill up the stadium to witness the local players in action in the PFF-organised national and international events. What our players need is ‘recognition’ for which they have been striving hard and if they get due recognition, it will encourage them to larger extent and they will start producing better results in national and international events,” he added. “Unfortunately, we don’t have a football ground in almost all the big cities, so how can it be possible for us to promote the game across the country. The government should help us in building football infrastructure in the country which will certainly help us uplift the game and bring it to the new heights,” he stated.
Speaking about Pakistan team’s win against arch-rivals India, Faisal termed the victory a historical achievement but also showed his frustration that the government has not recognised the team’s big feat in India. “Prime Minister should invite the history creating team and announce special prized for them as it will boost their morale and propel them to win more glories for the country.”
The PFF president lauded the statement of All India Football Association (AIFA) regarding Pakistan-India football series and termed it a good omen for Pakistan-India football as it will help players of both the countries improve their game as well as prepare well to compete against top teams of Asia.