LAHORE - The hopes of the Pakistan U-16 football team participating in the upcoming SAFF U16 Championship in Bhutan have been dashed, as the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee (NC) failed to secure the necessary No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB). The disappointing development was officially confirmed on Tuesday by Haroon Malik, Chief of the PFF NC. “We regret to announce that we will not be able to participate in the event due to the unavailability of the NOC,” lamented Malik. “The inability to obtain the NOC in a timely manner is an extremely disheartening setback for us.” The Pakistan U-16 football team was all set to depart for Bhutan on Tuesday (August 29, 2023) to compete in the championship. Nevertheless, Malik expressed optimism regarding the prospects of receiving the NOC for the U19, U23, and national teams, anticipating their involvement in the forthcoming events scheduled for September. In response to queries about the matter, DG PSB Shoaib Khoso attributed the delay to incomplete documentation provided by the PFF. Khoso went on to reveal that the PFF’s legal representation had acknowledged the inadequacy of the paperwork. “Despite the incomplete nature of the documentation, we expedited the processing of the case. However, the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination raised objections,” Khoso explained.