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Tuesday December 07, 2021

AFC Cup draws Pakistan’s absence raises eyebrows

November 24, 2018

KARACHI: The absence of any football club from Pakistan in the 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup draws, which were unveiled on Thursday, has raised many eyebrows.

“It is shocking that Pakistan is not there in the AFC Cup draws,” a coach of a department featuring in the Premier League told ‘The News’ here on Friday.The coach said huge amounts were being spent on the Premier League. If they are not given the opportunity to showcase their skills in the AFC Cup there is no utility of the league, he added.

“The league should be stopped if no Pakistani club is featuring in the AFC Cup or its play-offs,” the coach said.According to draws, the Group E South Zone features clubs from India, Bangladesh and Nepal. The South play-off winners will join the trio.

Pakistan’s name is also missing in the play-offs. It was also learnt that AFC had asked PFF to nominate a champion club by the end of October. A source said that PFF did not name any club.

The PFF told the AFC that their league would end in December. There was a chance of sending the name of the National Challenge Cup winners Pakistan Air Force (PAF).When contacted, a PFF official told ‘The News’ on Friday that the AFC would be contacted soon in this respect. “I will let you know soon. We will contact the AFC,” a PFF official said.

The sources also revealed that AFC had written a letter to the PFF in which the continental body had shown its reservations over the PFF’s stance to promote some teams through play-offs to the Premier League.According to sources, this is the main reason that Pakistan has been denied chance of playing in the AFC Cup play-offs.