Football lovers in Pakistan might not witness the next World Cup Qualifier Round 2 match against Jordan. According to the schedule Pakistan had to host Jordan on March 21st in a match under lights. Pakistan played their two World Cup Qualifier home matches against Cambodia and Tajikistan. Those two matches were day matches. Because of Ramzan in March, the match between Pakistan and Jordan was scheduled as a night match.
The PFF released a statement on Monday conveying that it is actively exploring alternative venues to ensure the game takes place at a neutral venue.
PFF stated “In collaboration with the Pakistan Sports Board, the Pakistan Football Federation has been dedicatedly working on preparing Jinnah Stadium for the upcoming March match against Jordan. Regrettably, despite our best efforts, the current standard of Jinnah Stadium does not meet FIFA requirements.”
“As the March game is scheduled to be held under lights and coincides with Ramazan, meeting FIFA’s lighting standards with the current setup has posed difficulties” it stated.
The Jinnah Stadium Islamabad was scheduled to be prepared by January 21st, the deadline has passed for the submission of the stadium. To play the home leg on the given date PFF is in contact with the Jordan Football Association that the match could be arranged on a neutral venue.
“We will be in contact with the Jordan Football Association to discuss arrangements for a neutral venue for the home leg,” the statement released by PFF on Monday.
The last international match hosted by Jinnah Stadium was in November when Pakistan hosted Tajikistan in the second round of World Cup Qualifiers. More than 24,000 people showed up in the stadium to support Pakistan in that match. Pakistan lost to Tajikistan 6-1 in that particular match.
Before the match against Tajikistan, Pakistan lost their first match of round 2 World Cup Qualification match against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with a score line of 4-0. This match against Saudi Arabia was a historical match for Pakistan as Pakistan qualified for the 2nd round of the World Cup qualifying stage for the first time in history.
An aggreged score line of 1-0 in favor of Pakistan against Cambodia over 2 legs brought Pakistan success in the 1st round of the World Cup Qualification.
Pakistani people have a great support and love for the game of football. People have showed up to the stadium in numbers higher than expected in the two home matches played in October and November.
The news of the cancellation of the home match against Jordan in Pakistan is a great disappointment for Pakistani football enthusiasts.