KARACHI: Pakistan’s look forward to a return to worldwide soccer goes on.
This time, nonetheless, it isn’t as a result of turmoil that has plagued the Pakistan Soccer Federation (PFF) for the final a number of years however as a result of world coronavirus pandemic, the newest sporting casualty of which was September’s SAFF Championship.
The South Asian Soccer Federation introduced on Monday that it was suspending the area’s marquee match to subsequent 12 months whereas it should determine on the destiny of its three youth tournaments, additionally slated to happen this 12 months, in September.
The choice was made after the final secretaries from SAFF’s seven member associations met on a video name to debate the rising variety of virus circumstances in South Asia. This 12 months’s SAFF Championship was to be hosted by Bangladesh from Sept 7-19.
Pakistan haven’t performed a single aggressive match since June final 12 months, once they misplaced to Cambodia over two legs within the first spherical of Asia’s joint qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.
“The South Asian Football Federation held a meeting today via Zoom with its member associations’ general secretaries regarding the SAFF Competitions,” SAFF mentioned in a information launch.
“The respective normal secretaries gave their views relating to the Covid-19 challenges and opinions relating to the SAFF competitions scheduled to be held this 12 months.
“Therefore considering SAFF has determined in precept to postpone SAFF Championship to 2021.
“In regards to the youth competitions [SAFF U-15 Championship in August, SAFF U-15 Women’s Championship in September and SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship in October], they have also been postponed till the next review meeting in early September. After reassessing the Covid-19 scenario a decision will be taken.”
Pakistan have been overwhelmed semi-finalists on the final version of the SAFF Championship in 2018, having missed the 2015 version on account of a battle over the management of the PFF between two factions.
International soccer physique FIFA appointed a Normalisation Committee to supervise the PFF affairs in September final 12 months.
“It’s an opportunity missed for our players to play international matches this year but in the end, health and safety of the players remains the first priority,” PFF Normalisation Committee secretary Manizeh Zainli informed Daybreak.
Pakistan’s solely likelihood of enjoying aggressive matches this 12 months is that if the AFC Solidarity Cup, a match for the Asian groups who fall within the first and second spherical of the joint-qualifiers, goes forward in 2020.
The Solidarity Cup is scheduled for December and its destiny appeared doubtful earlier this 12 months when the second spherical Asian qualifiers in April-Could have been postponed as a result of virus outbreak.
The Asian Soccer Confederation has since introduced dates in October and November to convey the second spherical of the qualifiers to an in depth.
Pakistan missed the inaugural version of the 10-team Solidarity Cup in 2016 as a result of PFF turmoil.
Revealed in Daybreak, June 30th, 2020