PAF, Asia Gee Mills to clash in opener today

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PESHAWAR
Pakistan Air Force will face Asia Gee Mills in the opening match of the Pakistan Football Federation 28th National Challenge Football Cup to be commencing from today at Tehmas Khan Football Stadium. The draws of the prestigious National Challenge Cup, launched in way back 1979 by Pakistan Football Federation, opened up on Thursday with organizing Secretary of the Cup and former international footballer Basit Kamal and Managers of all the participating teams were also present.
16 top departmental teams and one team of the PFF Tigers will compete for in the tournament. Chairman Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Football Association and Senior Vice President Pakistan Football Federation Syed Zahir Ali Shah announced Rs1.2 million prize money for the event.
Shah disclosed that the tournament had not taken place since July 2008 due to ongoing power struggle between two groups one led by Faisal Saleh Hayat and the other Syed Ishfaq Ali Shah The current tournament will take place on national level to engage players from all across Pakistan. The following teams will be a part of the event: Pakistan Army, Navy, PAF, KRL, Railways, SSGC, ANP, Masha United, Asian Sugar Mill, PTV, PCAA, Wapda, PAF Tigers, KPT, Police and Karachi United.
Shah added that the historical Tehmas Khan Football Stadium is in excellent condition for the competition. Winners will be awarded Rs500,000, the runners-up team would get Rs300,000 and the third position team would be awarded Rs200,000 as cash prizes. Awards have also been announced for winner of the fair play trophy, best goal, best scorer, and best emerging players.
Two matches will be played daily, one at 5:00 pm and the other will be played under the floodlight facilities at 8:00 pm. Matches will be officiated by top referees in collaboration with Pakistan Football Referees Association. It is the first time Peshawar will host the 28th edition of the National Challenge Football Cup.
Shah added, it is the responsibility of the players to judge which is the actually representative body, he said. We could not want to derailed the smooth sailing of the PFF affairs according to the decision made by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Syed Ashfaq Ali Shah led PFF, he explained.
He said FIFA has taken a very positive step by announcing normalization committee to hold fresh election of the PFF before conducting club scrutiny across Pakistan. Football activities will continue after the National Challenge Cup. We have chalked out a comprehensive program for the promotion of football in Pakistan, Shah concluded.

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