After coming back to Pakistan, the Pakistan U19 Football Team headed by Shadab Ifthikhar was applauded by the Pakistan Football Federation Normalisation Committee during a meet and greet session with media at a local hotel in Lahore.
For the first time, the Pakistan football team participated in the SAFF U19 Championship 2023 and finished as runners-up in the event, held in Nepal.
The event was participated by Chairman NC Haroon Malik along with members Muhammad Shahid Niaz Khokhar and Saud Hashimi.
Sharing his views, Chairman NC Haroon Malik said: “I’m elated to share that we’ve reached a historic milestone, undeniably marking a significant accomplishment for both our U19 Team and the Pakistan Football Federation. The way our U19 team played was absolutely phenomenal. We will continue to endure our steadfast commitment to our national stars.
“Head Coach Shadab Iftikhar said: “My experience of coaching the Under-19s was brilliant. I had 25-30 players that all gave their best to produce fruitful results. Every day was tough, but it was amazing to see players working so hard without any complaints. It was an absolute honor to coach them and get them to the final.”He said that the future of the Under-19 players seems quite bright. “We had less than 2 weeks to prepare and then 10 days in the tournament, to get to the final which we did brilliantly. Any camp in the world, you’re always going to face challenges, I think the biggest challenge we faced was trying to develop the team but it’s a great step of the Pakistan Football Federation,” he added.
On the occasion, Captain of Pakistan U19 Team Muhammad Sadam said: “It was an honor for me to lead such a talented squad on such a big stage internationally. The SAFF U19 Tournament 2023 was a debut tournament for us and we reached the finals in our first-ever international assignment by defeating some of the big names of South Asia. If we are provided with proper football exposure and opportunities, we can contribute well to Pakistan football and win international laurels for our country,” he added.-ENDS-