Former Fulham defender Zeshan Rehman cleared to play in SAFF Championship 2013

The center-back has been released to play for his country after weeks of negotiations between his club and the Pakistan Football Federation...
England-born footballer Zeshan Rehman will be available for the Pakistan national team after his club Kitchee SC gave him the green signal to play in the SAFF Championship 2013 in Nepal.

“Rehman’s club has released him for the championship,” Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Secretary Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi confirmed to The Express Tribune.

It was initially understood that the Kitchee SC had agreed to let the player join his national side after the club’s Hong Kong 1st Division League opener against Sun Hei on August 31.

“Kitchee were reluctant to let him go earlier as the dates of the tournament were clashing with his club’s matches in Hong Kong, but eventually they relented. He will play the whole tournament for us; including the opening match against India on September 1,” Lodhi added.

With everything sorted, Rehman is expected to arrive Nepal on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, England-based midfielder Adnan Ahmed has also joined the team, while Hassan Bashir, Yousuf and Yacoob Butt will arrive in Nepal from Denmark on August 29, according to the team officials.

Expressing his views of facing defending champions India in their opener, Zeshan Rehman feels “capable” of achieving the task.

“It is a big match … it is a big rivalry, but I think we’re capable of beating them,” he told Pakistan newspaper Dawn. “The team which has the most belief will win the match and eventually the Cup.

“I think we are on the same wavelength with India. The only advantage they have is that they have foreign players in their league which helps their players to improve their own skills. In general, there is really no gap between the teams in South Asia. So on a given day, any team can beat anyone.”

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