LAHORE    -   Punjab Football Association (PFA) announced the schedule of ‘Punjab Talent Hunt’ programme here at a local hotel on Monday.

“New young talent will be identified not only from football players but among the referees also. The clubs development workshop and media seminar are also a part of the program in order to explain the role of media in the development of football,” said PFA vice president Rana Shaukat Ali Khan accompanied by Ch Rasheed, referee instructor Salahuddin and PFA coordinator Asghar Khan Anjum, while addressing the press conference here.

“In the first phase, inter-district matches will be played at their respective divisional headquarters. In second phase, teams hailing from nine divisions of Punjab will compete for the talent hunt championship in Lahore,” Rana further elaborated. Ch Rasheed said that fresh talent at district level will be marked to form the best divisional teams.

PFA coordinator Asghar Khan Anjum said that it is a comprehensive program. “It is one of its kinds, to give maximum opportunity to youth. It is compulsory for every team to include three under-19 players,” Asghar said.

FIFA instructor Salahuddin, who also course instructor, said that finding of new referees is also among the merits of the program, which is being started with a 2-day referee course from today (2 July). “It is age limited, as youth of u-25 years age can be a participant only. Young referees have overwhelmingly welcomed the idea. We invited 36 young referees including 6 females but the number has reached to 45 including 7 females. The talented referees will be given chance to perform in the divisional level matches.”

According to schedule, division level matches will be played in Sahiwal, Bahawalpur, Multan, Faisalabad, Lahore, Sarghodha, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi and DG Khan from 4 July to 23 July. Punjab level inter-divisional matches will be played in Lahore from 27 July to 5 August. For the first time at Punjab level, two days Club Development workshop will also be held followed by a seminar with a topic of ‘role of media in development of football’.