Hajra looking forward to Pakistan’s return to action after eight-year gap : KARACHI The gruellingly long time in the hope of the Pakistan women’s team to get back into international competition. No player feels that way more than famous forward Hajra Khan.
Hajra was only 20 at the moment the national team played with an exciting future ahead of her. Eight years later her peak as a professional might have come to an end, but she’s eagerly awaiting Pakistan’s participation in the SAFF Women’s Championship in Nepal.
The Pakistani football team has been in controversy since 2015 because of infighting within the Pakistan Football Federation and while the national team for men has been playing in a sporadic manner since this time, it’s women’s football that has been the worst hit.
The last time that the women’s team participated in an international competition was in 2014’s edition of SAFF Women’s Championship which was hosted by Pakistan.
Hajra looking forward to Pakistan’s return to action
However, with the FIFA appointed PFF Normalisation Committee back in control of the affairs, and with the suspension of 15 months was lifted by the world’s football the governing body last week Hajra hopes that women’s soccer within the nation will recover with a vengeance.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Hajra stated to Dawn on Thursday. “For “… for eight years in which we’ve missed numerous qualifying tournaments and tournaments [for] AFC tournaments]. It’s really motivating of] know that when the ban is lifted the very first tournament in within a couple of months will be a tournament we’ll participate in.”
This year’s edition of SAFF Women’s Championship is set to take place in Nepal between August 29 and September 10 as well. The PFF NC has to send its entry on Friday. Sources from the NC have informed Dawn on Thursday that entries will be received and that our national squad will participate.
The discussion has also been conducted by the NC regarding the location for the team’s camp of training for the competition. While Abbottabad is suggested as a possible location because of its altitude which can help players adjust to the climate in Nepal and the surrounding areas, there is significant support for Lahore which is which is where the PFF headquarters is located -in order to host the camp since football is returning to Nepal after a period of time.
At the moment the main focus is making sure that the team is involved instead of worrying about the outcomes it brings.
“I think it means a lot just to get back on the FIFA women’s rankings regardless of the results because you know eight years is a long time to be inactive in international competitions,” Hajra added. Hajra.
“Once we demonstrate our presence and hopefully, the motivation for the girls to alter the game and actually play, it’s going improve the mood of the players throughout this year and possibly throughout the entire year. Normalisation Committee is in charge.
“Hopefully a path can be set up for more international tournaments to come so I think it will be great and there is no doubt that the girls will be working hard as they have been out for such a long time.”
Pakistan was banned from FIFA in April of last year, after a group officials headed by Ashfaq Hussain Shah — who was elected as president in PFF elections that were conducted in the Supreme Court but never recognised by FIFA — took charge of PFF headquarters. PFF Headquarters from NC.
When the change during the time of the takeover National Women’s Championship was underway in Karachi and came to an abrupt stop. Ashfaq’s team were able to revive the competition by Raheela Zarmeen, then PFF’s director of women’s advancement asking teams to keep playing.
However, the teams have backed out. Raheela stated to Dawn on Thursday that she did not have any contact from team members from the PFF NC to retake her post.
“They have not approached me yet,” she added. “Neither have they taken me on board after NC announced they have got possession [of the PFF headquarters].”
The PFF NC has to act swiftly because tests for women’s squad are required and coach appointments must be made.
Dawn has confirmed it is Dani Limones, who was PFF’s technical director during the time of the acquisition, was invited by the PFF NC but it is not yet clear if the former technical director will be returning to his position.
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