Jaffar to lead Pakistan in World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh
LAHORE: The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has named goalkeeper Jaffar Khan captain of the team, which will take on Bangladesh in the World Cup 2014 qualifiers in Dhaka on June 29.
The PFF besides announcing the 20-member contingent, including players and officials, also appointed Faisal Iqbal as vice captain.
The team will depart for Bangladesh on Sunday (today) from Islamabad.
The federation made the selection for the match after the recommendations of coach Tariq Lutfi.
Four Pakistanis settled in England and Australia are also included in the squad.
Meanwhile, commenting on the team strength, coach Tariq Lutfi told Dawn that the players were prepared for the important match and hopefully they would give their best to win the match.
“It is important for us to beat Bangladesh in Dhaka as it will be an important booster to tackle Bangladesh in Lahore in the second leg match, Lutfi argued, adding that the inclusion of four Pakistanis settled abroad will further strengthen the squad.
Among the foreign Pakistanis, three are from Britain namely Atif Bashir, Zeeshan Rehman and Adnan Farooq, while Ahmad Akbar Khan is from Australia.
Lutfi said that though Zeeshan Rehman could not practice with the national team in Islamabad, he would join the team from England.
To a question, the coach admitted that Bangladesh were better in ranking as compared to Pakistan. However, he claimed that the Pakistan team have been performing very well for the last eight months and hoped the team would be able to beat the hosts on their home ground. The national team has been playing practicing matches against some departmental team to hone their skills after efforts of the PFF to arrange matches against any foreign team before the match against Bangladesh failed to bear any fruits.
Bangladesh team are scheduled to visit Pakistan on July 3 to play their second leg match against Pakistan at the Punjab Stadium.
Goalkeepers: Jaffer Khan (captain) Jehangir Khan.
Defenders: Samar Ishaq, Alamgir Khan, Kamran Khan, Mohammad Ahmad, Atif Bashir and Zeeshan Rehman.
Mid-fielders: Faisal Iqbal (vice-captain), Manzoor Ahmad, Arif Hussain, Kaleemullah, Mahmood Khan, Hasnain Abbas, Ahmad Akbar Khan and Arif Mahmood.
Forwards: Mohammad Qasim, Mohammad Ikram, Mohammad Rasool and Adnan Farooq.
Officials: Gohar Zaman (manager), Tariq Lutfi (head-coach), Nasir Jamal (assistant coach), Aslam Khan (goal-keeping coach), Dr Kamran Mehdi (Physio) and Irfan Khan Niazi (Media manager)