In a surprising turn of events, the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has announced a change in the venue for the FIFA World Cup Qualifier Round 2 match against Jordan. Originally scheduled to be hosted in Islamabad, the match will now take place in a neutral venue due to challenges faced by the PFF in meeting FIFA’s standards for the Jinnah Stadium.
The Lighting Dilemma
The decision to shift the venue stems from the need for adequate lighting during the match, especially since it falls during Ramadan. According to FIFA standards, the lights should have an output of 1800 lumens. Despite efforts by the PFF to prepare Jinnah Stadium, it has been revealed that the current lighting setup does not meet FIFA’s requirements.
Official Statement by PFF
The PFF, in an official statement posted on social media, expressed regret over the situation. The statement read, “Since our last home game against Tajikistan in November, the Pakistan Football Federation, in collaboration with the Pakistan Sports Board, has been diligently working on preparing the Jinnah Stadium for the upcoming match against Jordan scheduled for March.”
Deadline and Alternative Options
With the deadline for venue submission passing on January 21, the PFF has chosen to explore alternative options to ensure the integrity of the game. They stated, “We will be in contact with the Jordan Football Association to discuss the arrangement of a neutral venue for the home leg.”
Lighting Challenges and Ramazan
One significant challenge highlighted by the PFF is related to lighting conditions. As the March game is scheduled to be held under lights and falls during Ramazan, meeting FIFA’s lighting standards with the current setup has proven difficult.
Earlier Reports on Venue Preparation
Earlier reports had indicated that the lights would be installed by the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) by the end of February. Additionally, 4,000 seats were expected to be installed before the game against Jordan on March 21. This change in venue raises questions about the readiness of facilities and the impact on Pakistan’s performance in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Round 2 Group stage.
Why is the venue for the FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Jordan being changed?
The venue is being changed due to challenges faced by the PFF in meeting FIFA’s standards for lighting at Jinnah Stadium in Islamabad.
What was the deadline for venue submission?
The deadline for venue submission was January 21.
Why is the match being played in a neutral venue?
To uphold the integrity of the game and ensure compliance with FIFA standards, the PFF has decided to explore alternative options.
How will this impact Pakistan’s FIFA World Cup Qualifiers campaign?
The change in venue raises concerns about the readiness of facilities and may impact Pakistan’s performance in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Round 2 Group stage.
What challenges did the PFF face in preparing Jinnah Stadium?
The significant challenge highlighted by the PFF is related to meeting FIFA’s lighting standards, especially since the match falls during Ramazan.
When was the initial venue for the match decided?
The initial decision to host the match in Islamabad was made following Pakistan’s victory against Cambodia in October.