In PPFL’s absence: 2016’s second football tournament begins

Aman Football Tournament features some of the biggest clubs in the country

Natasha Raheel March 08, 2016

KARACHI: Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) teams, including NBP, PIA, KPT, Army and PAF, will compete at the Pakistan Rangers Aman Football Tournament that starts today at People’s Stadium in Karachi.

The tournament will be the second of the year after the recently concluded Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Cup, with the national league not taking place due to the ongoing power struggle within the PFF between two rival factions.

According to Sindh Football Association official Rahim Baloch, the tournament is taking place in collaboration with the Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat group.

PFF Cup: KRL crowned champions

He added that the two-week-long tournament will help district and provincial teams, with the quintet of PPFL teams strong favourites.

The tournament will be played among 32 teams on a knockout basis.

“We are hoping for a good show, and the PPFL teams are definitely the strongest competitors here,” Baloch told The Express Tribune. “Rangers are organising the event to promote peace in Karachi, but mostly this will help district teams and provincial sides, as we are including teams from across the country.”

The tournament is also featuring Division B League teams such as Gwadar Port Authority, who will play the opening match against Fata in Group A today.

PFF Cup: More than just a title at stake for KRL

On the other hand, teams such as PPFL champions KE, KRL, Wapda and Navy are not competing in the event.

“We decided to give our players some rest,” said KRL coach Sajjad Mehmood. “We had outstation players who went home after the PPF Cup last month, so it would have been a bit difficult for us to compete in Karachi.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2016.

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