Pakistan’s six-a-side football team was forced to make last-minute changes in the Socca World Cup squad after Greece refused visas to numerous players.
Pakistan also had to field the team’s assistant coach, Gohar Zaman, as a player in its warm-up match against Colombia Saturday night. The former football captain played the warm-up match as the team did not have its regular goalkeeper, Rehan Tahir.
An official, who wished not to be named, confirmed that Pakistan were left with no choice but to add Europe-based players or players who already had Schengen visas since most of the other did not receive their visas to participate in the global event in Greek island of Crete.
“Around 15 of our visas applications were turned down,” the official said. “We have now included players who were based in Europe or players who already had required valid visas to ensure Pakistan’s participation in the tournament.
“We have managed to make a good combination and we will produce good results,” he added.
A source privy to matter revealed that a team management official was also asked to remain standby to enter the field as player.