A Remarkable Journey of Pakistan Football in 2023

A Remarkable Journey of Pakistan Football in 2023

Web Desk

The year 2023 has been something special for Pakistan’s football scene. Haroon Malik, the leader of the Normalisation Committee chosen by FIFA, has been doing a great job managing everything, from day-to-day operations to important elections. This year has brought big wins and milestones for both the Women’s football team and the Men’s National Team.

Cheers for the Women’s Team
The Women’s Football Team kicked off their fantastic journey in January with a 4-Nation tournament in Saudi Arabia. Led by Captain Maria Khan, they ended up as runners-up, creating a buzz with a memorable free-kick that went viral. Making history, they took part in the Olympic Qualifiers for the first time. In another tournament in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan scored a big win against Laos, even though Laos was way higher in rankings. A great move for the women’s team was when Haroon Malik, the head of PFF NC, announced equal pay for women players, a positive step forward.

Men’s Team’s Turnaround
The early months of 2023 were tough for the Men’s Football Team with several defeats. But then came the game-changer: Stephen Constantine. Under his guidance, the team transformed, and at Jinnah Stadium in Islamabad, they secured a historic 1-0 victory against Cambodia, thanks to Harun Hamid’s magic. This win not only brought joy but also earned Pakistan a spot in the second round of FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers, a first-ever achievement. What was once a doubtful journey now looks promising as Pakistan aims for success in the FIFA World Cup Qualifier matches.

Youth Teams Shining Bright
Recognizing the impor bytance of youth, Coach Sajjad Mehmood led the Under-16 Team to two wins in the SAFF U16 Championship. Candlylands and PFF joined forces for talent scouting across Pakistan. The Under-19 team showcased brilliance in the SAFF U19 Championship, even though they missed the top spot. The U23 team, though without a victory in the AFC U23 Cup, played a significant role in marking a milestone of over 30 international matches for Pakistan Football in a single year.

Futsal Fun and Medical Know-How
Pakistan Football hosted four successful Futsal National Cups in different cities, and there are plans for an All Pakistan Futsal Championship in 2024. Putting player well-being first, the PFF Chief Medical Officer organized medical workshops, helping doctors understand better medical practices during games.

Referees and Goalkeeping Skills
Improving the football system, ongoing referee refresher sessions are in place. The Women’s Team Goalkeeping Coach is also working on a specialized Goalkeeping Clinic, contributing to better goalkeeping skills. All these efforts show how Pakistan Football is taking a comprehensive approach to raise the sport’s standards in the country.

Election Buzz
The election process for PFF is in a crucial stage, examining clubs in 78 regions with over 1200 matches played. The Pakistan Football Referee Association Elections have already happened, and district football elections are set for late January 2024. These elections, transparent and inclusive, promise a brighter future for Pakistan Football.

As 2023 comes to an end, the story of Pakistan Football is a tale of victories, progress, and inclusivity. The year has set the stage for a promising future, where football in Pakistan is not just a game but a journey of unity and excellence.


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