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PFF Raises Concerns Over Jinnah Stadium Lighting Ahead of FIFA World Cup Qualifier Against Saudi Arabia

Shifting the match away from Pakistan would be highly shameful for Pakistan Football Federation (PFF).

Following objections from the Pakistan Football Federation Normalisation Committee (PFF NC) regarding the lighting at Jinnah Stadium for Pakistan's upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia, the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) has assured that the issue will be resolved in time for the match on June 6.

In a letter addressed to the PSB, the PFF NC indicated that the floodlights at the stadium did not meet FIFA standards and warned that the match would have to be moved to an alternate venue if the issue was not rectified.

However, a senior PSB official confirmed on Monday that measures are being taken to ensure the lighting meets the required standards.

"The plan is to install four floodlights on both sides of the two goalposts in the coming days," the official said. "These arrangements will adhere to FIFA standards."

Earlier this month, a team of PFF NC officials and a delegation from the Saudi Arabian Football Federation inspected the Jinnah Stadium and found the current floodlighting inadequate. The PFF NC urged the PSB to implement the necessary upgrades promptly to avoid relocating the match.

"Shifting the match away from Pakistan would be highly shameful for us," the PSB official added. 

"It will be a disgrace for the country, and strict action will be taken against the responsible officials if that happens. There is sufficient time to address this issue, and we will ensure the arrangements are completed in time. The PFF NC can also conduct a special inspection by third-party experts to verify the quality of the lighting."
Previously, the PFF had threatened to move another qualifier against Jordan out of Pakistan but ultimately decided to hold it during daylight hours due to the month of Ramazan.

Despite advancing to the second round of World Cup qualifying, Pakistan has struggled, losing all four of their matches and falling out of contention for the third qualifying round.

Head coach Stephen Constantine has commenced an intensive training camp in Islamabad, preparing the national team for their final Group G matches against Saudi Arabia on June 6 and Tajikistan on June 11. Currently, only local-based players are in the camp, with foreign-based players expected to join later.

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