- In the opening round of the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying competition in Hisor, Tajikistan, Pakistan will play the Philippines today (Wednesday).
Malika-e-Noor, a defender, will serve as Maria Khan’s assistant when she leads the national team.
However, Pakistan will be without the services of star striker Nadia Khan, who was forced to withdraw from the competition due to an ACL injury.
On April 2, the 22-member national team and coaching staff flew into Tajikistan from Dubai, where the group participated in a quick training camp and played matches against regional clubs.
For the first round of the competition,
The five teams with the highest seeds—DPR Korea, Japan, Australia, China PR, and Korea Republic—will join
In the third round, four teams from the second round—three of the group winners and the two best-ranked runners-up—play off. The two eventual winners advance to the Women's Olympic football competition in Paris in 2024.
In Saudi Arabia’s four-nation cup in January of this year, Pakistan came in second.
The potential for women’s sports in Pakistan, in Malika’s opinion, is enormous.
- The defender said, “Since I started playing football, growth of women’s sports in Pakistan. The same thing happens in other sports than football. In terms of football, there are now several clubs and academies aiming to advance the game at the grassroots level.
- “Our most recent games helped women’s game regain its status in the hearts of the audience. We have our supporters standing behind us who previously claimed that football had no future. They are ready to let their spouses, sisters, and daughters to participate in the sport and represent our nation abroad, the speaker said.
Alia Sadiq, Anmool Hira, Isra Khan, Naqiyah Ali, Sanober Abdul Sattar, and Zahmena Malik make up the Pakistan squad’s forwards.
Midfielders: Rameen Fareed, Suha Hirani, Maria Khan, Anushey Usman, Aliza Sabir, Amina Hanif, and Marvi Baig.
- Those who stood up for her included Malika-e-Noor, Mishal Bhatti, Nizalia Siddiqui, Sahiba Sherdil, Sara Khan, and Sophiya Qureshi.
Fatima Naz, Nisha Ashraf, and Rumaysa Khan are the goalkeepers.