FIFA has declared Pakistan’s England-born forward, Otis Khan, ineligible to participate in the first leg of Pakistan’s 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Cambodia.
This decision comes even though Khan possesses a valid Pakistani passport. Khan’s eligibility was primarily based on his paternal grandfather, Kanwar Jamil Mohammed Khan, who was born in Delhi but later migrated to Pakistan after the partition in 1947, eventually settling in Manchester.
Otis Khan, a promising winger who recently made a move from Leyton Orient to Grimsby, had high hopes of donning the Pakistani jersey in the crucial match against Cambodia on Thursday.
However, while he was being interviewed by FIFA’s website to preview the game, Khan received a notification of his ineligibility this week.
The news left him understandably disheartened, and he expressed his feelings through a post on his X (formerly Twitter) account.
— Otis Khan (@OtisKhan63) October 12, 2023
PFF’s response to the ineligibility of Otis Khan
The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) promptly released a statement addressing the issue. They expressed their hope for a positive resolution and clarified the situation.
According to the PFF, FIFA’s decision regarding Khan’s eligibility is still pending. They further emphasized their active collaboration with FIFA to comprehensively address the matter.
The statement underscored Otis Khan’s significance as a key player in the team and commended his distinguished representation of Pakistan.
It’s worth noting that as per the Pakistani government, individuals who migrated from territories in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent before the commencement of the Pakistan Citizenship Act, 1951, are granted citizenship in Pakistan.
Notably, the first leg between Pakistan and Cambodia concluded in a goalless draw. This result marks the end of Pakistan’s 12-match losing streak, bringing a glimmer of hope to the team and its fans. The second leg, set to be played in Islamabad on October 17, holds great anticipation as Pakistan steps onto their home ground for the first time in competitive fixtures since 2011.
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