Babar Azam welcomes Saudi Arabia football team to Pakistan

The visiting team play Pakistan at the Jinnah Stadium on June 6

By Web Desk
June 06, 2024
Babar Azam also extended best wishes to the visiting side. PCB/PFF

Pakistan men's cricket team captain Babar Azam extended his warm welcome to the Saudi Arabia football team arrived in Islamabad for the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier at the Jinnah Stadium on June 6.

In an X post (formerly Twitter), Babar wrote in Arabic, "I welcome my Saudi brothers to Pakistan" with best wishes.

Screenshot of Babar Azam's post.

Remember, the Saudi team, accompanied by renowned manager Roberto Mancini and assistant coach Yaya Toure, flew from Riyadh to Islamabad on a chartered flight.

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki received the team at the Islamabad airport. Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) officials, the secretary of Pakistan’s Inter-Provincial Coordination ministry and Rana Mashhood, chairman of the PM’s Youth Program, were also present on the occasion.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia were forced to delay their trip to Pakistan. They were supposed to leave for Islamabad two days before the match but that was later changed to one day due to the absence of proper training fields and poor condition of Jinnah Stadium.

Pakistan are at the bottom of Group G as they have lost all four matches they have played so far. Pakistan began their journey with a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Saudi Arabia in Al-Ahsa in November followed by a 6-1 loss at the hands of Tajikistan at Islamabad in the same month.

Jordan then defeated Pakistan 3-0 in Islamabad in a game held in Ramadan with the Shaheens also losing the reverse fixture 7-0 at the Amman International Stadium.

After the match against Saudi Arabia, Pakistan will lock horns with Tajikistan in their final group match in the second round of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers.