Pitchless stadium: Incomplete Goal Project finally sees some action

Friendly match takes place on decaying 10-acre facility.

Natasha Raheel May 16, 2016

KARACHI: The pitch at FIFA’s Karachi Goal Project was sandy and other facilities almost non-existent, yet a friendly was played there yesterday to commemorate the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Day, all thanks to the sport-famished city’s spirited players.

The match was an initiative of Sindh Football Association Secretary Rahim Baloch, who regularly organises matches between local clubs at the 10-acre facility in order to put the concrete behemoth to use before it rots away completely.

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This time, he formed two teams, with the International II side featuring all the U17 players who have represented Pakistan at the junior U13 and U14 competitions abroad, while District West team comprising of players from Mauripur, Manghopir, Kemari and other adjoining areas.

The friendly match ended in a 1-1 draw as Junaid Sattar’s goal for International II in the first half was cancelled out by Ilahi Bakhsh after half time.

While the match somehow got played, Baloch feels that the Karachi youth deserves better than a friendly on an incomplete Goal Project pitch.

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“They deserve to play on a grassy ground at least, that is their right,” Baloch told The Express Tribune. “I’ve been telling the PFF officials to get us an AstroTurf for this project, and I still haven’t got an update on it. So we are just waiting for the water supply to get to this part of the city, so we can grow grass on our own.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2016.

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Shah | 8 years ago | Reply @Natasha Raheel Guess you should check what people are saying before publishing their statements. It can be misleading for the common folk!
Natasha Raheel | 8 years ago | Reply @Shah: Read properly. Thanks. "The PFF president said that out of a total of eight projects under FIFA’s Goal programme, the facilities in Karachi and Lahore are up and running, while the ones in Quetta and Abbottabad are near completion.
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