KARACHI: The Pakistan Football Federation Normalisation Committee on Saturday announced the squad for the first round of the qualifying tournament for the 2024 Paris Olympics with forward England-based forward Nadia Khan being a notable omission.
Isra Khan, who plays in the United States, has been included in the place of Nadia, who was injured during the team’s preparatory camp in Dubai.
Midfielder Maria Khan will continue as captain, a role she was given since the national team’s eight-year international isolation ended at the SAFF Women’s Championship last year.
Pakistan will play hosts Tajikistan, the Philippines and Hong Kong in Group ‘E’ of the qualifiers with matches to be held at Dushanbe’s Hisor Central Stadium. Only the group winners will advance to the second round of qualifying.
Pakistan’s last international assignment was the Four-Nation Cup in Saudi Arabia, where they finished second whilst missing the services of several of their foreign-based players including Nadia as they did not have Pakistan passports.
It was immediately unclear whether Adeel Rizki will be the team’s head coach. Adeel holds a B-license but Asian Football Confederation regulations require a Pro-license coach to be at the helm.
Pakistan play the Philippines in their opening game on April 5 before facing Hong Kong three days later. Their final match will be against Tajikistan on April 11.
Goalkeepers: Fatima Naz, Nisha Ashraf, Rumaysa Khan; Defenders: Malika-e-Noor, Mishal Bhatti, Nizalia Siddiqui, Sahiba Sherdil, Sara Khan, Sophiya Qureshi; Midfielders: Aliza Sabir, Amina Hanif, Anushey Usman, Maria Khan, Marvi Baig, Rameen Fareed, Suha Hirani; Forwards: Alia Sadiq, Anmool Hira, Isra Khan, Naqiyah Ali, Sanober Abdul Sattar, Zahmena Malik.
Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2023