Karachi: Pakistan football on Sunday suffered a setback in its preparations for the South Asian Federation Cup when a two-match series against Bangladesh was called off due to political unrest in that country.
A senior official of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) said the Bangladesh football authorities had informed them that they couldn't host the series owing to political unrest in capital Dhaka.
"They have told us that conditions in Dhaka are not conducive to hold the matches at this time and the series is off," the official said.
Dhaka has been hit by strikes and political unrest since July when a war crimes tribunal sentenced a former leader of the Jamaat-e-Islaami party to 90 years in jail. The High Court in August also banned the Islamist party from taking part in the general elections next year.
The PFF had lined up the matches against Bangladesh on August 13 and 16 and then a series against Afghanistan to prepare the national team for the SAFF Cup being held next month in Nepal.
The Serbian coach of the Pakistan team, Zavisa Milosavlijevic, said the cancellation of the series was unfortunate.
"Our players need maximum practice and exposure at the international level before the SAFF Cup unfortunately this is not happening," Milosavlijevic said.
Milosavlijevic said that Pakistan was hoping to put up a strong show in the regional event this time but would now need to focus on its training at home.
In june, a planned mini-series at Fulham's Craven Cottage in London involving Pakistan, India and Bangladesh was also cancelled.
Pakistan is ranked 167th in the latest FIFA world rankings.