Cricket: ‘Afghanistan fielding over-age players’

Published: April 12, 2012

Both Pakistani sides failed to show any fire-power on the opening day despite much promise. PHOTO: PFF

KARACHI: The Pakistan under-14 team coach complained that Afghanistan were fielding over-age players in the Asian Confederation (AFC) Under-14 Football Festival tournament taking place in Islamabad after the host teams lost three match on the opening day.

Pakistan lost the event’s opening match to Tajikistan 1-0 before the hosts’ second string – included to compensate for the withdrawals – lost 1-0 to Afghanistan and 2-0 to Tajikistan. The final match of the day was a stalemate between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The matches were all 30 minutes each which, according to coach Hasan Baloch, was a good way to use all 22 players in the squad. However, it was the seemingly over-aged Afghanistan players that irked the coach.

“It’s unfair that Afghanistan is fielding over-age players,” Baloch told The Express Tribune. “I accept our defeat against Tajikistan because it’s a good side but the Afghanistan players are all aged 16 to 18. That’s why they’re physically stronger, have more stamina and are taller than our players. It’s our bad luck that Iran, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan pulled out of the tournament otherwise I would’ve registered a complaint with the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF).”

According to Baloch, Afghanistan was also barred from taking part in the AFC under-16 championship after fielding over-age players.

Meanwhile, the PFF Secretary Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi said that the festival was about promoting football and grooming young talent so the results did not really matter.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2012.

Reader Comments (2)

  • Apr 12, 2012 - 9:39AM

    so the results did not really matter.

    Typical looser talk. Total apathy from the people in power.

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  • shah
    Apr 12, 2012 - 11:16PM

    @antebellum its u14 where according to afc the results are never a priority but other aspects of sportsmanship are of importance alongside exposure for the kids but playing overage players really takes that aspect hence u really pay attention to the reason why you lost… as said above afghanistan were thrown out of afc u16s after fielding overage players..

    sad to see other teams pull out, pkn have been good at u14s level for last few years finishing just below iran last time…this group of central asian teams would have been a test and learning curve…

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