KARACHI: Pakistan’s volleyball team started its tour of Qatar on a losing note after being edged out 3-1 by the hosts in the opening matches yesterday.
However, despite the poor start, with the London Olympics 2012 qualifying taking place from June 8 in Bulgaria, the Pakistan Volleyball Federation (PVF) Secretary Muhammad Afzal termed the team’s show satisfactory. He said that Qatar’s national team comprised players from different countries so Pakistan will have good practice before the qualifiers.
“One of the reasons why we chose to train in Qatar was that their national team plays with a lot of variation,” Afzal told The Express Tribune. “They have called players from the US, UK and other European countries to be part of their national team. That is why they are formidable opponents and that is what we need.
“Playing against Qatar is like playing against European teams and in the qualifiers, we’ll be facing Bulgaria and France.”
Meanwhile, Afzal said that although PVF intended to hire a foreign coach before the qualifiers, the team is competent enough to take down strong sides with local coaches.
Pakistan will play three matches from June 8 against Egypt, Bulgaria and France to get a wildcard entry into the London Olympics.
“We have played against Egypt before so I am confident of the fact that we will win our first match but we don’t have a clue about France and Bulgaria. We need to win at least two matches out of three in order to qualify for the Olympics .”
Meanwhile, Pakistan will play their second and last match of the tournament against Qatar today.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2012.
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