Dejected footballers rue postponement

National players disappointed after Pakistan-India series delay.

Express August 26, 2011

KARACHI: Members of the Pakistan squad that was to take on India in a two-match series in the UK have blasted the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) for the late postponement of the series that made their efforts in Ramazan go to waste.

Last-minute postponement tough on players

The series, scheduled to start on September 3, was put on hold only an hour after the PFF confirmed the squad and named a captain. The reasons differ from the mourning period of the Birmingham victims – to which the series was dedicated – to sponsors’ pullout.

However, the national footballers who showed respect and sympathy for the family, took the federation to task for being ill-informed.

“We respect the families’ feelings but the federation should be aware of such matters in advance,” striker Kaleemullah told The Express Tribune.

“We came to know about the postponement when we were preparing for the flight and the news came as huge embarrassment for us.

“We trained a lot for the series. Many of us trained while fasting but it seems that all the hard work has gone in vain.

“We could not spend Ramazan properly and our Eid plans have also been disturbed,” added the Chaman-based footballer.

‘PFF should have confirmed in advance’

Goal-keeper Jahangir Shah also echoed his teammate’s views on the matters.

“The PFF should’ve decided matters in advance which could have saved our energy.We were desperate to beat India. A lot of effort went into the training camp.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th,  2011.

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