IFA U-15 football team to visit Portugal in August this year: Secretary IFA

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PESHAWAR, Mar 5 (APP): Secretary General Islamabad Football Association (IFA) Syed Sharafat Hussain Bukhari Sunday said that a well prepared team of Islamabad would participate in the forthcoming international football event in Portugal in August this year.
Talking to APP on phone, Syed Sharafat Hussain Bukhari disclosed the aim and objective of the team participation in the international event Castelo de Vice Cup Portugal.
He said our players had good talent of football, known as the poor-man Games in Pakistan, but lack of international exposure that talented players could not come to the international level.
“We want to provide much needed international exposure to our player,” Bukhari added.
He said, there was no dearth of talent but due to politics and tug of war in different groups in the game the football players in Pakistan badly suffered.
He said to short-list players on merit open trials were conducted wherein more than 200 players took part and among them 35 players were short-listed for the final phase of trials to be held on March 7, 2017 at 3.00 P.M.
He said, the players born after January 1, 2002 would be eligible for the trials.
The Selection Committee comprising Muhammad Zaman (Chairman) with two other members including Muhammad Yameen and Raja Masood. Shahid Sadique and Rana Tanveer would act as coordinators so that to make ensure selection of genuine players.
He disclosed that a total of 35 players would be short-listed in the second phase during the final trials for the training camp to be started in the mid of March this year.
The camp would continue for longer duration mean more than a month in order to prepare a well-combine team for the international outing and tournaments to be played at provincial and national levels besides representing Islamabad in the forthcoming second Quaid-e-Azam Games scheduled in April this year.
The training camp will be setup T&T Football ground, G-8/4 the venue of the trials under the aegis of Islamabad Football Association. He also underlined the importance of the Portugal Tour, said that Association of Footabll Portuguese has a long history, following its introduction in 1875. The country’s top domestic league, the Primeira Liga, he said, was founded in 1934 and is home to internationally successful clubs such as S.L. Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting CP, the “Big Three” who usually dominate the league.
In total, he said, Portuguese clubs have won the UEFA Champions League (the most prestigious club competition in European football) four times, the UEFA Europa League (UEFA Cup) twice, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (European Cup Winners’ Cup) once, the UEFA Intertoto Cup once, the UEFA Super Cup (European Super Cup) once and the Intercontinental Cup twice.
Football is the most popular sport in Portugal. Internationally lauded players such as Eusébio, Luís Figo, Rui Costa and Cristiano Ronaldo have played for the Portugal national football team, he added.
Portugal team was third in the FIFA 1966 World Cup and fourth in the 2006 World Cup. The country hosted the UEFA Euro 2004, where they were runners-up to Greece. Then, A Selecção were semi-finalists in Euro 1984, Euro 2000 and Euro 2012. Twelve years later, Portugal won their first major title, the Euro 2016, beating host nation France, he concluded.