FIFA, PFF discuss football development program

Sanjeevan Balasingam, FIFA’s regional director for Asia and Oceania, with Sardar Naveed Haider Khan, vice president of the PFF, Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi, general secretary, and PFF staff at its headquarters in Lahore. (Photo courtesy: Pakistan Football Federation)
Updated 26 March 2018

FIFA, PFF discuss football development program

LAHORE: The FIFA delegation concluded its two-day deliberations with the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) on the game’s future late on Sunday.
The parties engaged in extensive dialogue during which the FIFA delegation headed by Sanjeevan Balasingam, FIFA’s director of member associations for Asia and Oceania, informed the PFF about the world soccer body’s “Forward Program.”
The FIFA initiative was a good sign for the development of football in Pakistan and would help the recovery from the damage that has occurred in the past three years, Balasingam said.
“It is a great opportunity for the PFF to first recuperate from the losses occurred due to the stoppage of the game in the past three years and then take football in Pakistan to new heights by using FIFA Forward Program support,” Sanjeevan said at the conclusion of the session at Football House.
Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, president of the PFF, welcomed the delegation and thanked FIFA President Gianni Infantino for extending support to the PFF through the FIFA program.
“PFF is grateful to the FIFA president for his keen interest in the development of football in Pakistan.” The FIFA Forward Program is a vital one for the development of football,” he said.
The main objective of the visit was to discuss the current state of the sport in the country and inform officials about how to benefit from the FIFA program, which was launched in 2016. The world body has substantially increased its financial support and assistance for its member associations through this program, a PFF press release said.
The PFF was represented by Vice President Sardar Naveed Haider Khan, General Secretary Lt Col Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi, the director of finance, director of administration, deputy general secretary, technical director and head of league development and media.
The FIFA delegation informed PFF officials and staff about the procedures for claiming FIFA Forward Program funds.
Sardar Naveed Haider Khan highlighted the importance of the timing of the FIFA delegation’s visit and said that these were important days for the PFF.
“The PFF is working hard to revive football in Pakistan; these are very crucial times as we are in the planning phase and the direction set here will matter for the development of the game in future,” he said.
Lt. Col. Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi, general secretary of the PFF, appreciated the recent initiative of the FIFA president and said it would help the PFF with much-needed football development in Pakistan, providing funds to revive the sport in compliance with the vision of football development recently approved by the PFF at its meeting on March 17.


Saudi bowlers off to QubicaAMF World Cup

Updated 18 November 2019

Saudi bowlers off to QubicaAMF World Cup

  • First woman from the Kingdom to compete in the championship in Indonesia

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is sending its first woman to compete in the 55th QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup that begins in Indonesia.

Mashael Alabdulwahid will join her male teammate Abdulrahman Al-Khilaiwi, under the supervision of coach, Mario Joseph, to take part in the contest in Palembang.

Both players underwent training at a camp in Riyadh to prepare for the event. The training program included participating in the Asian Championship in Kuwait for Abdulrahman, and participating in the GCC 6th women’s bowling tournament for Mashael.

The men’s competition started Sunday at 9 p.m.

The women’s competition will begin at 3 p.m. today, where Mashael will take part in six rounds. The competition will run until Nov. 24.

HIGHLIGHT

  • Mashael Alabdulwahid will join her male teammate Abdulrahman Al-Khilaiwi, under the supervision of coach, Mario Joseph, to take part in the contest in Palembang.
  • Both players underwent training at a camp in Riyadh to prepare for the event. The training program included participating at the Asian Championship in Kuwait for Abdulrahman, and participating at the GCC 6th women’s bowling tournament for Mashael.

The competition continues on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and after completing 24 rounds, the top 24 players will be selected to compete for the top eight positions by playing eight runs on Friday. On Saturday, the best four female players and four male players will be chosen to compete in the finals.

Abdulrahman said that he is looking forward to the world cup. “This year there is a new advantage and that is having teammate Mashael joining me for the first time. I’m proud of her! It’s a big thing for Saudi women and for us in the team because this world exposure will help them to learn and give them an incentive to develop their skills,” he said.

The 20-year-old player has been bowling for the past 10 years. Despite his young age, thanks to his perseverance and sense of discipline he managed to win many victories, but the most distinguished were those in 2018. He delivered the bronze medal at the World Cup in Detroit, and two bronzes at the Asian Bowling Championship in the Philippines in the same year, and a gold medal for the trio event at the Arab Bowling Championship in Oman.

Mashael, 32, was only able to play officially last year in February 2018 when the Saudi Bowling Federation (SBF) received the decree to allow women to play in sports. However, she has been playing for fun since early childhood when she used to travel to Egypt with her family and where she managed to learn from the professionals and get hooked on the game. Mashael was chosen to take part in the Egypt Arab Championship and World Bowling Women’s Championship in Las Vegas in August 2018.

Mashael said: “Playing for fun is definitely enjoyable but when you wear your country’s flag that’s a huge responsibility put on your shoulder. You become an ambassador and a role model and when I’m put in that situation, I definitely want to give my all to be fit for that honor, and give the best image worthy of our beloved country.”

The bowlers expressed their gratitude to the Saudi Bowling Federation and its president Bader bin Abdullah Al-Alsheikh for his support and for creating opportunities for them so that they can progress, enrich their experiences and win awards and achievements.