FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers: Pakistan squad arrives in Tajikistan just hours before match

Pakistan Air Force came to the rescue

By Web Desk
June 11, 2024
Pakistan football team arrives in Dushanbe. - PFF

The entire Pakistan football squad was finally able to touch down in Dushanbe ahead of their match against Tajikistan today.

Some of the players and support staff had left for Dushanbe from Islamabad following the match against Saudi Arabia. However, some were left behind after their flight from Faisalabad got cancelled twice due to a technical issue and bird strike, respectively. Later, a chartered flight was also cancelled due to technical issues.

With the team’s participation in the match in jeopardy, Pakistan Air Force came to the rescue and flew the players to Tajikistan from Nur Khan Air Base in the morning ahead of their 8pm match.

“We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Pakistani Government, the Pakistan Army, and the Pakistan Air force for their unwavering support during these challenging times,” the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) said in a statement on its official social media accounts.

“A special thank you to the Pakistan Air Force for generously providing their private aircraft, ensuring our safe arrival at our destination.

“Special mention for Chairman NC Haroon Malik for all his efforts in getting this done.

“Today marks our last match day, and we are determined to make the nation proud. Thank you for your continued support.”

Earlier, Saudi Arabia defeated Pakistan 3-0 in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier at the Jinnah Stadium in Islamabad on Thursday.

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

Pakistan are at the bottom of Group G as they have lost all five 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.