AFC chief condemns attack on football fans in Pakistan

Kuala Lumpur, Aug 9 (IANS) Asian football chief Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa Friday condemned the bomb attack during a local football match in Pakistan this week in which at least 11 people were killed.

The blast took place at a football ground in Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi Wednesday also injuring 24 people, reports Xinhua.

Expressing deep sorrow for the victims, Sheikh Salman said sport should be used as a tool to promote peace.

"Football is popular around the world and it brings people together. It's shameful to attack those who are enjoying a football game," the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president said in a statement.

"Some of the innocent fans who lost their lives would have been budding footballers. Football has long given solace to people around the globe," he added.

Despite the violence, Sheikh Salman said that AFC had decided to allot the 2014 AFC U-16 Championship qualifiers to Pakistan due to the rising popularity of the sport in the South Asian country.

"We are following the rise in popularity of football in Pakistan and we are confident that the AFC U-16 Championship qualifiers will give a further boost to the efforts carried out by the Pakistan Football Federation," he said.