Pakistan offers to move World Cup qualifier to Jordan for safety

“Venue Uncertainty Threatens Pakistan’s World Cup Qualification Match Against Jordan”

The 2026 World Cup qualification round-two match between Pakistan and Jordan is hanging in the balance due to the uncertainty surrounding the venue. The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee (NC) confirmed that the Jordan Football Association has offered to host the match, but the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) guidelines mandate that the home match must either be held at home or on neutral ground.

The deadline extensions to finalize the venue in Islamabad have all passed, with the AFC now waiting for confirmation. Pakistan hosted their first-round World Cup qualifier at Jinnah Stadium in Islamabad but lack professionalism and foresight in their administration. The stadium lacks floodlights, but the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) has assured that upgrades will be completed before the March qualifiers.

Despite on-pitch progress, the inexperience of the PFF NC administration is evident. The team is in the second round of Fifa World Cup qualifiers for the first time, having made history with a win in the first round last October. They defeated Cambodia and played a goalless draw away before facing Saudi Arabia and then hosting Tajikistan, where they suffered a heavy defeat.

The PFF NC is currently seeking another extension to finalize the venue before the upcoming matches in March. The lack of communication from the PSB regarding the floodlight installation has left the situation uncertain. The PSB Assistant Director confirmed that work is in progress to meet Fifa/AFC standards, but no concrete completion date has been provided.

As the deadline for the venue report submission continues to be pushed back, the PFF NC is also waiting on responses from the AFC and Jordan Football Association before making any decisions regarding forfeiting the home advantage. The fate of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers remains up in the air until a venue is confirmed.

The development of football in Pakistan hinges on efficient coordination between the PFF, the NC, and the PSB to ensure that the team can compete on a level playing field. With the clock ticking towards the March matches, all parties involved will need to work together to provide clarity and certainty for the upcoming fixtures.

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