Sep 17 - 23, 2007

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Federation International de Football Association (FIFA) have kicked off a new "Goals for Girls'" campaign, which aims at promoting education, gender equality and women's rights through sport.

Launched in conjunction with the FIFA Women's World Cup China 2007, Goals for Girls! will use the competition as a platform to explain how educating girls not only helps eliminate gender discrimination but also contributes to addressing many of the most serious problems their communities face, says a message received here on Tuesday.

"Children everywhere have a right to education, and educating girls is a key to defeating poverty, hunger, disease, violence, abuse and exploitation," said UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman. "Through Goals for Girls, UNICEF and FIFA will take this important message to soccer fans around the world. "The Federation's President, Joseph Blatter, said FIFA's long-standing partnership with UNICEF is founded on the two organisations' shared goal of supporting the rights of children, especially those of girls. "Football has an indispensable role to play as a tool for promoting integration, education and communication and, as such, it can help build a better future," he said.

According to a spokesman of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), the UNICEF-FIFA campaign promotes the child-friendly school model, offering both genders a quality education in a safe environment, even in emergency situations. UNICEF also works with partners and governments to remove barriers to education, including school fees and lack of access.

Moreover, the three-time champion Army announced 24-member squad which will take part in the third AFC President's Football Cup. The eight-team competition will run through September 20-30 in Lahore's Punjab Stadium hosting 13 matches while two matches are being awarded to Garhi Shahu's Railway Stadium.

Army's squad is made up of Mehmood Ahmed ( Faisalabad), Muhammad Imran (Toba Tek Singh) and Mubasher Hussain (Bhakkar) who have the honor of winning gold in 10th South Asian Games last year at Colombo, Sri Lanka on 26 August 2006. Former Pakistani skipper Jaffar Khan is also among the keeper named for the event which is meant for clubs from the emerging countries.

Babar, who captained Army in Second AFC President's Cup at make-shift venue Malaysia's Sarawak Stadium and Negeri Stadium last year, also snatched spot in last 24 and favorite to retain captain's armband. Imran Hussain, one of the sorer for Pakistan in 6th SAFF Championship two years ago at Karachi and leading marksman in 51st National soccer, will lead the attack of Army alongwith Abid Masih, Jafar Ali, Adnan Bari and Muhammad Sajid.

"Our team is currently training at Rawalpindi's Army Sports Complex and all the players are in positive mood under coaching staff of Shaukat Ali, Muhammad Afzal. Luck eluded us when we played the same event last year and failed to impress our fans. But we are expecting to qualify for semi-final at Lahore as all players are physically fit and want to do something to give honor to Pakistan,' said Major Shafqat Mehmood, manager of Pakistan Army.

Brig. Saleem Nawaz, Head of the Army Sports Directorate, approved Rana Shujaat ( Chef de Mission), Shafqat Mehmood (Manager), Shaukat Ali (Coach), Muhammad Afzal ( Goal keeper coach), Muhammad Azhar (Trainer), Mir Mushtaq Ahmed (Sponsor) and Mahmood Riaz (Physiotherapist) as officials while twenty-four players are as follow :Goal Keepers (3) : Jaffar Khan, Muhammad Imran, Mahmood Ahmed Defenders (9) : Muhammad Khabab, Muhammad Kashif Shah, Muhammad Shahbaz, Ghulam Mustafa, Tanveer Shahid, Muhammad Imran, Umar Daraz, Muhammad Sharif, Gulzar Ahmed Midfielders (7) : Majid Khan, Michael Masih, Babar Mehmood, Khalid Munir, Faheem Riaz, Muhammad Shabbir, Mubashar Hussain, Strikers (5): Imran Hussain, Abid Masih, Jafar Ali, Adnan Bari, Muhammad Sajid.