Preview: Pakistan vs. Palestine (International friendly)
[UPDATE:] I've tried searching for places to stream or channels to watch the game. I've come up with nothing so far. If you have any suggestions let us know in the comments section.
What: International Friendly
Where: Lahore & Karachi, Pakistan
When: March 1st & 4th, 2011 (1400 GMT)
18/02/2006: Palestine 3 : 0 Pakistan (Attal 55', 75', Fadi Salím 85')
02/04/2000: Palestine 2 : 0 Pakistan (Munasarah 1', Al-Jeish 62')
First things first. There is some question as to whether this will be an official friendly or not. The FIFA website initially listed it, then delisted it, only to list it again. Pakistani news agencies report that that Pakistan will use its Olympic squad and that the referees selected are Pakistani which would make this an unofficial friendly.
It seems to me that the Olympic side has become the de facto national team of Pakistan with the senior side having not played a single match since December 2009. Their last three results include a 7-0 thrashing of lowly Bhutan, a 0-0 draw with Bangladesh, and a 1-0 loss to Sri Lanka.
The Olympic side has been far more active in the past year. At the Asian games they suffered a 6-0 defeat at the hands of Thailand but followed that up with 0-0 draw against the Maldives and a 2-0 loss against Oman. They seem to be a side growing with competence, this past month they partially redeemed themselves by losing 2-1 to Thailand. Their Olympic Qualifier against Malaysia got off to a disastrous start, with the team losing 2-0 whilst playing with 10 men for most of the game.
As for Al-Fursan they held a press conference expressing their delight at being in Pakistan. The team arrived in two waves over the 25th and 26th of February. An interesting tidbit to take is that Palestine seems to be the go-to team when you want to play an international under somewhat precarious conditions. Palestine became the first team in six years to play in Iraq two years ago. And will be the first team to play in Pakistan since a deadly attack on the Sri Lankan team two years ago. Security is high and both stadiums are expected to be packed with the Pakistan Football Federation ensuring free entry to all spectators.
For more information. Check out Football Pakistan's Preview.