Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia, August 9, 2013: AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has called for an end to the attacks on sports events, especially football, in the continent.
Expressing deep anguish at the death of eight football fans in Pakistan’s Karachi city in a bomb blast after a four-a-side Ramadan tournament final, Shaikh Salman said that sport should be used as a tool to promote peace.
“Football is popular around the world and it brings people together. It’s shameful to attack those who are enjoying a football game,” he said.
“Some of the innocent fans who lost their lives would have been budding footballers. Football has long given solace to people around the globe.”
He also said that AFC had decided to allot the 2014 AFC U-16 Championship qualifiers to Pakistan due to the rising popularity of the sport in the South Asian country.
“We are following the rise in popularity of football in Pakistan and we are confident that the AFC U-16 Championship qualifiers will give a further boost to the efforts carried out by the Pakistan Football Federation,” he said.
“On behalf of the Asian football family, I would like to convey my deepest sympathy and condolences to the friends and families of those who lost their lives in Karachi.”
Lahore – Pakistan: Blast after the street Football Final Match in Layari taking 11 innocent lives most of whom were children & injuring near about 24 people have put the entire football family of Pakistan in deep grief & sorrow said the President PFF Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat. “We have lost many future upcoming players on this very sad day for the football lovers in Pakistan and we particularly condemn this coward anti sports act of terrorism especially in the holy month of Ramadan ” he further added.
Secretary General Pff Lt. Col. (Retd) Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi TI(M) has also shown great concern over this worst incident saying in his statement that Lyari is the hub of football in Pakistan where a street football match has been attacked by savages who are totally unaware of the value of an innocent life. He further stated that such acts of terrorism cannot defeat our strong will for the promotion of football in Pakistan. —- AFC & PFF