‘Arrangements for Pakistan, Saudi Arabia qualifier complete’ – Newspaper

ISLAMABAD: All arrangements including lighting at the Jinnah Stadium have been completed for holding Pakistan’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia smoothly on June 6, an official of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) said on Sunday.

“All the arrangements for the match have been finalised. Reading of the lights, which is called lux, is available for the record. The lighting system [at the stadium] is best,” claimed an official of the PSB while talking to Dawn.

During a visit to the Jinnah Stadium on Sunday, one noticed that around 250 lights had been installed at the venue for the Group ‘G’ match. Besides other arrangements including renovation work, three state-of-the-art glass boxes have also been set up for VVIP spectators. Meanwhile, changing rooms and new dugouts have also been made.

Last month, Pakistan Football Federation’s Normalisation Committee had raised objections over the quality of lighting at the stadium amid rumours that the match could be shifted to a neutral venue.

“After the emergence of such [media] reports, IPC Minister Rana Sanaullah and other top officials of the IPC ministry directed us to leave no stone unturned in order to complete top-class arrangements for the June 6 qualifier. Now I can say that a FIFA World Cup match can also be held at this stadium,” said another PSB official.

Meanwhile, a FIFA official who was present at the Jinnah Stadium, also expressed his satisfaction over the arrangements. “The glass boxes look amazing,” he said.

According to PSB officials, around 4,000 new chairs had been installed to increase the stadium’s capacity to around 40,000, adding arrangements had been made for uninterrupted supply of electricity during the June 6 game.

The Pakistan team under head coach Stephen Constantine is attending a training camp here in Islamabad these days for their final Group ‘G’ matches against Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan, scheduled for June 11.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2024

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