Defending Champion Pakistan Air Force off to a flying start after recording 4-0 victory against Asia Gee Mills, Bahawalpur on the opening day of the 28th PFF National Challenge Football Cup, which got under way here at Tehmas Khan Football Stadium on Saturday. KP Information Minister Shoukat Ali Yousafzai was the chief guest on this occasion who formally inaugurated the Cup wherein top 15 departmental teams took part.
President Pakistan Football Federation Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah, Senior Vice President Syed Zahir Ali Shah, Regional Sports Officer Jamshed Baloch, Secretary General KP Football Association and organizing Secretary of the Cup Basit Kamal, former national team skipper Col. Nouman and Col. Farasat, officials, players and large number of spectators were also present during the opening ceremony. The National Challenge Cup was launched in way back 1979 by Pakistan Football Federation and so far 27 edition were held in different cities but it is for the first time that Peshawar is hosting the 28th edition wherein top 15 departmental teams including Pakistan Air Force, National Bank of Pakistan, Pakistan Police, Asian Gee Mill, Bahawalpur in ground-A, Sui Southern Gas Company, Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Television in ground-B, Pakistan Army, CAA, Pakistan Railways, PFF Tigers in group-C and KRL, Pakistan Wapda, Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and Karachi United in groud-D are taking part.
During the opening ceremony the melodious Brace and Pipe bands of KP Police with their melodious national songs turned the whole complexion into a melodious one.
The ceremony was started with the recitation from Holy Quran by Qari Jehanzeb, followed by National Anthem presented by Police Bands and team March Past. When KP Information Minister formally announced the inauguration of the Cup, there were stunning firework which added more joys to the sitting spectators. In the opening match PAF and Asia Gee Mills played a goal-less draw till the first 42nd minute play and it was the 43rd minute when unmarked Irfan got a through ball from mid-fielder Qaiser in front of the goal-post and did nothing wrong in dispatching it into the net to make the tally 1-0.—APP