‘Seeing Easah and Otis play for Pakistan will give so many kids real hope’

Jimmy Khan sheds light on Pakistan football team’s diaspora players

By Web Desk
May 25, 2023
Otis Khan (L) currently plays for Grimsby Town — AFP

Jimmy Khan, who one of the first diaspora players to represent Pakistan in 1989, is hopeful that Pakistan football will benefit from the inclusion of Otis Khan and Easah Suliman.

The former Blackburn Rovers academy footballer also said that seeing Otis and Easah play for Pakistan will be breathe of fresh air for football in the South Asian country.

"It was one of the greatest moments of my life [to play for Pakistan] and I know it will mean everything to Otis,” Jimmy told Sky Sports News.

"We need to see more role models like Easah and Otis and I hope they can use some of their stardust to talk about how proud they are to play for the country.

"There are still major challenges around infrastructure and grassroots football. Seeing Easah and Otis play for Pakistan will give so many kids real hope, especially because they have heard of clubs like Aston Villa [where Suliman turned professional] and Manchester United [where Otis played academy football].

"It will mean a lot to people all across the world, particularly those that are involved in football and have been involved in football, but haven't been afforded the opportunity to develop."

Former England U20 centre-back Easah is eligible to play for Pakistan after FIFA approved the request from Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) to change his national eligibility from England.

The 25-year-old currently plays for UD Vilafranquense, which is in the second tier of the Portuguese football league system, while being on loan from Vitoria Guimaraes SC.

Meanwhile, attacking midfielder Otis will also represent the Pakistan national men’s football team in the upcoming international events.

According to the PFF, Khan’s documentation is now complete and is eligible to represent Pakistan.

The 27-year-old began his football journey at the renowned Manchester United academy, where he spent 10 years between 2002 and 2012.

However, he got the chance to make his professional debut, in 2014, after leaving for Sheffield United.

Khan currently plays for Grimsby Town, a club he joined in July last year, in the third division of English football.