Efforts underway to ensure Pakistan team reaches Dushanbe for qualifier match: Haroon Malik

Haroon Malik, Chairman of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalization Committee, stated that concerted efforts have been made to ensure the Pakistan football team reaches Dushanbe, Tajikistan, for their away match in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers.

Following the recent match between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, eleven members of the Pakistan football team, including seven players and four officials, have already arrived in Dushanbe. However, according to FIFA rules and regulations, the team requires an additional nine players and two officials to be present at the venue to participate in the match.

Malik emphasized the critical nature of the situation, noting that failure to reach Dushanbe promptly could invoke specific AFC and FIFA rules, which would determine the outcome.

Speaking on the matter, Malik expressed his concerns, saying, "The fact that the national team has not yet departed for Dushanbe is extremely distressing." He assured that all possible resources are being utilized to address the issue and ensure the team's arrival in Tajikistan.

"We are in constant communication with the Tajikistan football authorities and FIFA officials to keep them fully informed of the situation," Malik said. He also mentioned that the PFF coordinates with government officials at the highest levels. "The Prime Minister's Office is making serious efforts to resolve the issue," Malik added.

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