KARACHI: The Pakistan football team will look to the Al-Nakba International tournament this month as their best chance for practice ahead of the Asian Games later this year.
The Pakistan team left for Palestine on Wednesday to take part in the third edition of the tournament which will see them playing against the hosts, Jordan, South Asian rivals Sri Lanka and former Asian champions Iraq.
The Al-Nakba International will run from May 10 to 21.
A good performance at the Al Nakba International also presents Mohammad Al Shamlan’s side a chance to improve their FIFA ranking which saw them go up two places in the latest list released by football’s world governing body on Thursday.
The rise in the rankings is partly due to past matches going off the ranking calculations by FIFA.
The Pakistan side is also boosted by the arrival of attackers Mohammad Adil and Kaleemullah for national duty. The duo were granted permission by Kyrgyz club FC Dordoi to feature for their national team in the event.
The former Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) duo are the only two players not to attend the national team training camp which had been in progress in Lahore since April 17.
Pakistan play Jordan in their opening game on Sunday before squaring off against the hosts two days later. Sri Lanka will provide their third challenge next Thursday before the green-shirts end their campaign against 2007 Asian Cup winners Iraq on May 17.
The Asian Games will be held in the South Korean city of Incheon from Sept 19.