The first phase to select the Pakistan street children team for the 2023 Norway Cup has started from Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir.

Muslim Hands, a charity based in Islamabad, has undertaken the responsibility of selecting the 16-member team that will represent the country in the juniors tournament.

In the first phase, the trials will be conducted in different areas of Azad Kashmir including Rawalakot, Bagh, Bhimber and Kotli before the second phase kicks off with trials taking place in three different cities of Punjab namely Bhera, Wazirabad and Lahore.

Players from Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar will have to wait until phase three to get their chance.

Pakistan has been invited to the Norway Cup this year which is scheduled to take place from July 29th to August 5th in Oslo.

The country announced itself to the world on the back of a stunning 2022 Street Child World Cup where Pakistan finished 2nd to Egypt, losing the final on penalties.

The Norway Cup is the largest football tournament in the world for 10-19-year-olds and sees participation from over 1500 teams annually. Oslo has hosted the tournament annually since 1972 with the exception of 1976, 2020 and 2021 (due to the Covid Pandemic).

Pakistan’s participation in the tournament does not hinge on permission from the Pakistan Football Federation which may not be a bad thing.