Footballer Nadia Khan selected to make her international debut for the Pakistan football team
Image by Sky Sports
Doncaster Rovers Belles star Nadia Khan’s is set to make her international debut for the Pakistan women’s national team.
Sky Sports News reported that the Rovers Belles midfielder is set to fly to Kathmandu this weekend to meet with her new Pakistan team-mates, who are returning to international action in the South Asian Football Federation Championship (SAFF) in Nepal, beginning the first week of September.
Khan, who qualifies to play for Pakistan through her parents’ heritage, will become one of the first British-Pakistani women ever to play for the national team.
The Pakistan Football Federation has moved fast to assemble a team to play at the SAFF Championship after their recent international suspension due to undue third-party interference was recently overturned by FIFA.
Khan now looks set to take on an important role at the tournament for Pakistan’s women’s team, who last played an international match in 2014. She will also be one of the first beneficiaries of the Pakistan Football Federation’s new equal pay policy, which is seen as a huge step for gender parity and women’s sport in the country.
It caps a whirlwind rise for Khan, who shot to prominence when she scored a 45-yard screamer – labelled as an early contender for the FIFA Puskas best goal award – for Rovers Belles against Solihull Moors last season.
Image by Football Pakistan
Khan, 21, is a former Leeds United Girls’ Centre of Excellence player, who has been playing for Rovers Belles since 2018.
The technically-gifted attacking midfielder is in great form and won two penalties in a thrilling 4-3 win for Rovers Belles away at Nettleham on the opening weekend of the season.
Khan was one of at least a dozen potentially eligible foreign players who were considered eligible to represent and interested in playing for Pakistan, including West Brom’s Mariam Mahmood.
Speaking ahead of South Asian Heritage Month in her first interview with a major platform, British-Pakistani Mahmood opened up to Sky Sports News about her love for West Brom, where she has come through the ranks. That caught the attention of scouts trying to rebuild Pakistani women’s football, who contacted the club directly about Mahmood’s potential availability.
Sources close to Mahmood have told Sky Sports News the 18-year-old is “honoured” to be considered for international selection by Pakistan. Sky Sports News has also been told the striker’s sole focus right now is on continuing her development as a footballer to try and fulfil her potential.
The 18-year-old striker is a former England Colleges international and is highly-rated by West Brom director of football Dave Lawrence and manager Jenny Sugarman.