It is improbable that Pakistanis will have the opportunity to witness a FIFA World Cup qualifier taking place in their home country

Football enthusiasts in Pakistan might not get the chance to witness Pakistan’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Jordan on their home turf. The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has confirmed that Islamabad’s Jinnah Stadium does not meet FIFA standards, prompting the federation to actively explore alternative neutral venues for the game.

In a statement released on Monday, the PFF mentioned its dedicated efforts, in collaboration with the Pakistan Sports Board, to prepare Jinnah Stadium for the upcoming March match against Jordan. However, despite these efforts, the stadium’s current standard falls short of FIFA requirements.

The PFF pointed out a significant challenge related to lighting conditions, noting that the March game is scheduled to be held under lights during Ramazan, making it difficult to meet FIFA’s lighting standards with the current setup.

Given the January 21 deadline for venue submission and a commitment to maintaining the game’s integrity, the PFF affirmed its decision to explore alternative options. The statement emphasized that the PFF would contact the Jordan Football Association to discuss arrangements for a neutral venue for the home leg.

Jinnah Stadium had previously hosted Pakistan’s home game in the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Tajikistan in November, drawing a crowd of 24,000 spectators cheering for the national team. Despite the disappointment among football fans, the recent development has led the PFF to consider alternative venues for the scheduled match against Jordan on March 21.

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