FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers: AFC extends deadline to confirm venue for Pakistan-Jordan clash

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has extended the deadline to confirm the venue of Pakistan’s home match against Jordan during the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers.

The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) now has until February 2 to confirm the venue for the March 21 match.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) has also assured the PFF in a letter dated January 31 that floodlights and seats will be installed at the Jinnah Stadium in Islamabad before the match against Jordan.

Earlier, PFF had said that Islamabad’s Jinnah Stadium was below FIFA standards.

In a statement issued on January 22, the PFF informed that it is actively exploring alternative venues to ensure that the game is played at a neutral venue.

“Together with the Pakistan Sports Board, the Pakistan Football Federation has worked diligently to prepare the Jinnah Stadium for the upcoming match against Jordan in March,” the PFF said.

“Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, the current standard of Jinnah Stadium does not meet FIFA’s requirements,” he added.

The PFF also highlighted a key challenge related to lighting conditions, stating, “As the March game is to be held under lights and coincides with Ramadan, the current set-up does not meet FIFA’s lighting standards.” It is difficult to fulfill”.

Citing the January 21 deadline for venue submissions and its determination to uphold the integrity of the game, the PFF reaffirmed its decision to explore alternative options.

“We will be in touch with the Jordan Football Association to discuss neutral venue arrangements for the home league,” the statement said.

The Jinnah Stadium previously hosted Pakistan’s home game in a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Tajikistan in November, with a crowd of 24,000 cheering for the national team.

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