PFF announces squad for AFC’s Women’s Olympic Qualifiers

Pakistan team during a training session — PFF/File

The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has announced the women’s squad that will travel to Tajikistan for AFC’s Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Maria Khan will lead the national side while defender Malika-e-Noor has been named her deputy.

The 22-member national team and coaching staff will leave for Tajikistan from Dubai, where the squad held a brief training camp and played matches against local clubs, on April 2.

The Pakistan women’s team, which is placed in Group E, will kick-start its campaign against the Philippines on April 5. Their remaining matches are against Hong Kong and the hosts Tajikistan on April 8 and 11, respectively.

Twenty-six teams have been divided into seven groups for the first round of qualifying.

It must be noted that the winners of each group in this round will advance to the second round, where they will be joined by the five highest-seeded teams — DPR Korea, Japan, Australia, China PR, and Korea Republic.

Four teams from the second round — three group winners and the best-ranked runners-up — then face off in the third round where they play two pairs of home and away matches with the two eventual winners qualifying for the Women’s Olympic football tournament in Paris in 2024.

Pakistan squad

Forwards: Alia Sadiq, Anmool Hira, Isra Khan, Naqiyah Ali, Sanober Abdul Sattar and Zahmena Malik.

Midfielders: Aliza Sabir, Amina Hanif, Anushey Usman, Maria Khan, Marvi Baig, Rameen Fareed and Suha Hirani.

Defenders: Malika-e-Noor, Mishal Bhatti, Nizalia Siddiqui, Sahiba Sherdil, Sara Khan and Sophiya Qureshi.

Goalkeepers: Fatima Naz, Nisha Ashraf and Rumaysa Khan. 

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