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FOOTBALL - National 09 Apr, 2024

National Women's Football Championship starts on May 5
Sports Bulletin ReportKARACHI: The National Women’s Football Championship (NWFC) is set to commence on May 5, 2024 in Karachi. The clubs that have registered by December 2023 will be eligible to participate in the extravaganza, showcasing the passion for women's football across Pakistan.Being organized by the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), the championship will see the participating teams divided into four groups. With the top two teams from each group advancing to the quarter-finals. The championship will culminate in a finale scheduled to take place on May 21, 2024, where the top contenders will vie for the coveted title of champions.

FOOTBALL - Int News 04 Apr, 2024

Global Football Talent Showcase Lands in Islamabad
Sports Bulletin ReportISLAMABAD: The Football Academy (TFA), renowned for its global outreach in identifying and nurturing football talent, sets its sights on Islamabad, Pakistan, for its latest talent showcase. Unlike the previous year’s paid showcases across Karachi, Islamabad, and Lahore, TFA has revamped its approach, offering a golden opportunity for local talent to shine without any barriers. In a significant move to give back to the community, TFA, in partnership with well-known Pakistani academies, has announced a free talent showcase slated for April 18.As many as 99 free tickets for this exclusive event mark a pivotal moment in TFA’s mission to democratize access to professional football opportunities, reflecting a commitment to fostering sports development and talent recognition in communities that are rich in potential yet often overlooked.Ali El Jishi, The Sporting Director of TFA said: “Last year, we made a promise to come back, and we are here to fulfill that promise. Our commitment to nurturing talent is stronger than ever. This free showcase in Islamabad is just the beginning. We envision a future where our strategic partnerships extend beyond the field, developing coaches and delivering camps that could eventually evolve into a TFA franchise here. It’s about laying down a sustainable foundation for football in Pakistan.”As a professional football club that travels the globe to accelerate players’ careers in professional football, TFA’s Talent Showcase Tours have made waves in cities such as Reykjavik, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Cape Town, Addis Ababa, and Trinidad and Tobago. Now, as they prepare to make their mark in Bahrain, after Pakistan aiming to uncover the next generation of football stars.The showcase in Islamabad follows a rigorous yet promising format: 99 players will be trialed across three different sessions, with each session hosting 33 hopefuls. From this talented pool, the top 25-30 players will be chosen for a final match, showcasing their skills in a competitive setting that mirrors the pressures and triumphs of professional play. The most exceptional one to three players from this final will earn a 30-day trial in Dubai with TFA’s Future Team and First Team. Success in this trial means more than just recognition—it opens the door to signing a professional football contract with the club.“Our goal is to reach into the heart of communities and bring out those shining stars that haven’t had a platform before. Islamabad, with its rich cultural heritage and love for football, is the perfect stage,” says a spokesperson from TFA. As April 18 approaches, excitement builds not just among the aspiring footballers of Islamabad but also within the broader Pakistani sports community.Through initiatives like these, TFA continues to strengthen its reputation as a forward-thinking club committed to football’s global development. The Islamabad showcase is poised to be a landmark event, promising to uncover and polish the raw gems of Pakistan’s football talent, setting them on a path towards international sportsmanship and success.  

FOOTBALL - Int News 03 Apr, 2024

Ronaldo delighted with second Al Nassr hat-trick in three days
Sports Bulletin ReportRiyadh (Saudi Arabia): Cristiano Ronaldo has expressed his delight at scoring his second Roshn Saudi League hat-trick in three days, as Al Nassr manager Luis Castro hailed the “perfectionist” Portuguese forward. Ronaldo, who netted a hat-trick in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Al Tai, struck from two free-kicks in the space of 10 minutes to give Al Nassr an early two-goal lead in their 8-0 victory at Abha on Tuesday.The superstar No.7 followed that by up completing another treble with the most impudent of chips and directly assisted Sadio Mane then Abdulmajeed Al Sulaiheem to send Al Nassr in 5-0 ahead at half-time.Ronaldo, who was substituted at half-time and rested for the second half, has now netted 65 senior hat-tricks in his illustrious playing career. He is the Roshn Saudi League’s top goalscorer this season with 29 goals in 24 games. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has also struck a total of 36 goals in 35 games for Al Nassr in all competitions this season. Asked after the match how he felt about his hat-trick achievement, Ronaldo replied: “Great, thank you.” Accompanied by three football emojis to signify his hat-trick, he also added on social media: “We are not slowing down.”Al Nassr manager Castro said: “Ronaldo is a perfectionist. Ronaldo is a top player and takes professionalism to a different level. He is 39 years old, and I am sure fans and everyone else knows just how dedicated he is. When he practices free-kicks, finishing or even when recovering, he always puts the maximum effort in. No matter what he does, it is always to his full capacity. He is a role model to every player. He is always consistent whether the team is going through difficult times or good times. He shows character regardless of the circumstances. It’s amazing. However, I don’t want to forget the other players – Ronaldo is part of the team and what he does is somehow a reflection of the collective effort of the whole group.”Abha manager Pitso Mosimane said: “What can you say after a defeat like this? We don’t have excuses. We must take it as part of learning lessons for the team and myself. There were a lot mistakes – I think five goals, we made mistakes. We gave them goals many times, but we have to move on and focus on the response. The process is to stay in the league, and I don’t think we were budgeting for taking points off Al Nassr – but the score is not what we want. We have to go through lessons to learn. The only way to come out of this is to win the next match. The players must accept this, and I also must accept this.”

FOOTBALL - National 29 Mar, 2024

Fareedullah undergoes 'successful' Clavicle Fracture surgery
LAHORE (PR): Pakistan National Football team forward player Fareed Ullah underwent successful surgery to treat his Clavicle Fracture (Broken Collar) injury, which had already excluded him from participating in the remaining match of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier Round 2 away match between Pakistan and Jordan held in Jordan on 26th March. Fareedullah broke down on the field while tackling a Jordanian defender during the 33rd minute of the matchUpon his return to Pakistan, he promptly received medical care and was transported from the airport to the hospital for necessary treatment. Following the recommendation of PFF's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Azam Khan, a scan was performed, which indicated the necessity for immediate surgical intervention. The surgery was performed by Consultant Orthopedic and Sports Surgeon Dr. Amir Sohail in Lahore.The young forward was advised to rest and undergo rehabilitation for a period of eight to ten weeks before making his return to the field. Fareed's comeback is subject to his successful completion of the rehabilitation programme and following the go-ahead by the medical staff. 

FOOTBALL - Int News 21 Mar, 2024

Jordan defeat Pakistan 3-0 in FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers
Sports Bulletin ReportISLAMABAD: Jordan outclassed hosts Pakistan 3-0 in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier here at Jinnah Stadium, Pakistan Sports Complex on Thursday.Jordan got a free kick on the left side of the box in the very first minute of the game, as the striker Musa Al-Taamari put his team to lead by shooting the ball directly into the goalpost. After, 10 minutes Ali Olwan scored the second goal for Jordan to make the score 2-0, which could not change till the end of first half. Pakistan were in a 2-goal deficit after the first part of 45 minutes, however, they attacked on the rival to reduce the lead but failed to achieve their goal. The third goal was scored in the second half. Jordan missed a penalty kick in the second half.  SquadsJordan: Yazid Abu Laila, Ahmed Al-Jaidi, Abdullah Al-Fakhouri, Yazan Al-Arab, Baraa Marhi, Anas Bani Yassin, Saad Al-Rousan, Ihsan Haddad, Firas Shalbaya, Salem Al-Ajalin, Mahmoud Shawkat, Nizar Al-Rashdan, Ibrahim Saada, Nour Al-Rawabdeh, Rajai Ayed, Youssef Abu Jalbush, Saleh Ratib, Mahmoud Mardi, Muhammad Abu Rizk, Ali Alwan, Muhammad Abu Zureiq “Sharara”, Musa Al-Taamari, and Yazan Al-Naimat.Pakistan: Goalkeepers: Yousuf Butt, Saqib Hanif, Abdul Basit and Hassan Ali; Defenders: Easah Suliman, Abdullah Iqbal, Mamoon Musa, Haseeb Khan, Mohammad Saddam, Mohammad Sohail, Omer Rao, Mohammad Fazal and Mohammad Adeel; Midfielders: Rahis Nabi, Harun Hamid, Alamgir Ghazi, Rajab Ali, Ali Uzair, Shayek Dost and Abdul Samad; Forwards: FareedUllah, Waleed Khan, Imran Kayani and Adeel Younis.

FOOTBALL - Int News 17 Mar, 2024

FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: PFF names squad for Jordan match
Sports Bulletin ReportISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) named a 24-man squad for the forthcoming FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier Round 2 matches against Jordan, scheduled to be held at Jinnah Stadium, Islamabad on 21st March followed by an away game in Jordan on 26 March. The week-long camp scheduled for Lahore will now be relocated to Islamabad today (Sunday). The Diaspora (D) players are set to join the squad in the wee hours of Monday.  Pakistan Squad:Goalkeepers (4): Yousuf Butt (D), Saqib Hanif, Abdul Basit, Hassan AliDefenders (9): Easah Suliman (D), Abdullah Iqbal (D), Mamoon Musa, Haseeb Khan, Mohammad Saddam, Mohammad Sohail, Omer Rao, Mohammad Fazal (D), Mohammad AdeelMidfielders (7): Rahis Nabi (D), Harun Hamid (D), Alamgir Ghazi, Rajab Ali, Ali Uzair, Shayek Dost, Abdul Samad (D)Forwards (4): FareedUllah, Waleed Khan, Imran Kayani (D), Adeel Younis.

FOOTBALL - Int News 16 Mar, 2024

Pakistan ready to fight against Jordan in FIFA World Cup Qualifier
Sports Bulletin ReportLAHORE: The Head Coach of the Pakistan men's national football team, Stephen Constantine said that Pakistani players would fight against Jordan in the FIFA World Cup Qualifier, which would take place on March 21 at Jinnah Stadium, Pakistan Sports Complex Islamabad.Talking to Media here at Model Town Ground C Block on Saturday, Coach Stephen Constantine outlined the team's mindset and strategic focus ahead of their encounter with Jordan, one of Asia's top football teams, on March 21 at Jinnah Stadium Islamabad. “It’s difficult obviously for Pakistan to play World Cup Qualifiers and face adamant opponents, who are football giants in Asia. We have very little time to prepare for such a big game. And unfortunately, we are going to play one of the best teams (Jordan) in Asia on 21st March." Replying to a query regarding whether the Pakistan team is going to play this FIFA World Cup 2026, Stephen replied: “No, we are not going to play this World Cup and maybe not the next World Cup as well. I am trying to prepare the team for the Asian Cup Qualifiers and the SAFF Championship.” As the national team intensifies its preparations, Stephen revealed that diaspora players are expected to join the training camp soon, adding strength to the squad. Responding to another query, the coach stated: "A proper and professional football league is the most important thing here in Pakistan. You cannot produce a player without a league.” Coach Stephen also highlighted the tough competition within their qualifying group, which includes heavyweights like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Tajikistan. He sees this as an opportunity for the Pakistani squad to gain valuable experience and exposure that will benefit them in the long run.  

FOOTBALL - Int News 15 Mar, 2024

SAFF Women’s First Division League: AlUla win title
New champions AlUla crowned after penalty shootout victory against Al Taraji in finalSports Bulletin ReportJeddah (Saudi Arabia): AlUla was crowned SAFF Women’s First Division League champions following a captivating showdown against Al Taraji on Wednesday night – clinching the 2023/24 title with a penalty shootout victory at Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City Reserve Stadium.With promotion to the SAFF Women’s Premier League already assured for next season, the two went head-to-head to determine which team would win the championship. After a hard-fought final which ended 1-1 after extra time, AlUla clinched the title by winning 4-2 on penalties.The championship trophy was proudly presented to the AlUla club by Lamia Bahaian, Vice President of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF), in the esteemed presence of Aalia Al-Rasheed, Head of the Women's Football Department at SAFF.As for Al Taraji, they enter next season’s Saudi women’s top flight as runners-up after narrowly missing out on the title. Al Amal also joined AlUla and Al Taraji in the 2024/25 SAFF Women’s Premier League after securing the third and final promotion spot thanks to a 3-1 win against Al Taqadum in Wednesday’s third-place play-off.A thrilling campaign from start to finish, this season’s second edition of the SAFF Women’s First Division League welcomed 26 clubs – beginning in group stage format with four groups of five teams and one group of six. After facing each other home and away across five cities, 12 qualifiers progressed to the final rounds – again using a group stage format with four groups of three teams. The winners from each progressed to the semi-finals, where AlUla beat Al Amal 3-0 and Al Taraji overcame Al Taqadum 1-0 – paving the way for Wednesday’s incredible final.Over the 2023/24 SAFF Women’s First Division League season, 122 matches were played with 111 wins and 979 goals. These figures illustrate the positive direction of travel for professional women’s football in Saudi Arabia, as well as the skill, development, and performances of players and clubs alike.The SAFF Women’s First Division League is one of several competitions playing a crucial role in the strategic growth of women’s football in Saudi Arabia. By increasing the number of football competitions and enhancing standards, the aim of SAFF is to foster the development of talented female players within the Kingdom and provide pathways to representing the national team across age groups.

FOOTBALL - National 14 Mar, 2024

Pakistan football team training camp at Model Town Lahore
Sports Bulletin ReportLAHORE: The Pakistan national football team camp is in full swing here at Model Town football ground to train the lads for the upcoming home match of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Round 2 against Jordan, scheduled to be held in Islamabad on March 21.Under the guidance of head coach Stephen Constantine, the team is focusing on refining their skills and tactics to face the upcoming challenge. The attention is also being given to the goalkeepers with coaching support from Rogerio Ramos and Nauman Ibrahim. The training camp, which kicked off in Lahore on Monday will continue for the next few days.Pakistan squad (Probable's):Goal-Keepers: Salman Ul Haq, Saqib Hanif, Hassan Ali and Abdul BasitDefenders: Mamoon Moosa Khan, Mohammad Sohail, Junaid Shah, Umar Hayat Haseeb Khan, Mohammad Saddam, Mohammad Hamza Munir, Kamil Ahmad Khan and Mohammad AdeelMidfielders: Alamgir Ghazi, Rajab Ali, Ali Uzair, Moin Ahmad, Zaid Umer, Mohammad Zahid Shah and Ali ZafarForwards: Shayek Dost, Fareed Ullah, Mohammad Waleed Khan, Mohammad Waheed, Mohammad Adeel Younas and Yasir Arafat.

FOOTBALL - Int News 13 Mar, 2024

AFC Asian Football Cup: Raja Atif Raza performs as a volunteer
Sports Bulletin ReportDoha (Qatar): Pakistani young lad, Raja Atif Raza worked as a workforce management volunteer during the AFC Asian Football Cup 2024 held in Qatar from January 12 to February 10. Raja Atif led his team and welcomed all FIFA officials, players, and guests at Hamad International Airport Qatar. Raja Atif was presented Honorary Certificate and Award by the government of Qatar. Raja Atif Raza said: “Volunteering is an important part of our culture. I am proud to represent Pakistan in major sports events in Qatar. Qatar won the AFC Asian Cup Qatar final. I hoisted the green flag of Pakistan on this occasion.”“I dedicate my award to my father Dr. Raja Meherban Hussain (Late). He gave us a better education and worked tirelessly to ensure our future. I thank my mother, sisters, and brothers Raja Adeel, Raja Waqas, Raja Danish, family members, friends, and respected people of his area, who pray for me for my success”, he concluded.