Islamabad’s Jinnah Stadium ‘capable of hosting’ FIFA WC qualifier matches

Two-member delegation of PFF during their visit to Islamabads Jinnah Stadium. — Reporter
Two-member delegation of PFF during their visit to Islamabad’s Jinnah Stadium. — Reporter

KARACHI: The Pakistan Football Federation has expressed satisfaction on status of Islamabad’s Jinnah Stadium to host Pakistan’s home leg of FIFA World Cup qualifier against Cambodia.

A two-member delegation of the PFF visited the facility in the Pakistan Sports Complex on Thursday.

Member PFF Normalisation Committee Shahid Khokhar and head coach Pakistan men’s national team Shahzad Anwar were briefed by officials of PSV during the visit.

Khokhar confirmed to Geo News that they were satisfied with the facilities, though he added a final decision on hosting the game in Islamabad would be made after approval from AFC and FIFA over the venue.

“As far as we are concerned, we are satisfied with what we observed during our visit, there were a couple of things which we brought to notice of PSB officials and they warmly extended their full support to host this match in Pakistan,” he said.

Pakistan is drawn to play FIFA World Cup qualifier against Cambodia on October 12 and 17. The match on October 17 is Pakistan’s home game and the PFF was told by the AFC to finalise the host stadium by August 18.

The PFF had approached Punjab Sports Board, Pakistan Sports Board and Saudi Football Authorities to host these games. The PSB had expressed its willingness to provide Islamabad’s Jinnah stadium for the game and invited the PFF to visit the venue.

“The pitch has to be ready for the game which I believe will be done and the scoreboard is needed to be in the stadium. We have mentioned FIFA regulations to PSB and they’re ready to meet them,” he said.

According to Khokhar the PFF will now write to the AFC and FIFA to send their technical team to visit the stadium and only on their approval, the PFF will finalise whether the stadium can host Pakistan’s game.

“We would like to get it done as soon as possible,” he said.

“We are determined to host our game in Islamabad.” Kokhkar added while appreciating the “warm support” he received from Pakistan Sports Board during the visit.


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