By Alam Zeb Safi
KARACHI: The silence on the part of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has left the country’s former coaching consultant Graham Roberts disappointed.
“The PFF have not made any contact with me which is a big disappointment,” former English footballer Graham Roberts told ‘The News’ from London on Friday.
“I felt that I would get a chance to improve the players and make Pakistan a force in Asia but I have not yet been contacted,” Roberts, who served as a consultant of the national team during the Asian Games last year, said.
“I had also spoken to few players in the United Kingdom and was trying to bring them into the Pakistan team’s fold but that would not happen now as I am not coming to Pakistan,” former Yeovil and Clyde manager, who won six caps for England in the 1980s, said.
Meanwhile, the PFF have written to the government for a hefty grant which, if released, would make available Rs 20million for a foreign coach, which might also be Roberts.
“We have been unable to find a sponsor and have written to the government for grant and once it is released we will take the step to negotiate a deal with a foreign coach,” an official of the PFF told this correspondent.
Meanwhile, sources said that PFF chief Faisal Saleh Hayat is also looking to take chances during his ongoing tour of Doha to look for a suitable coach who will get the responsibility to prepare the countryís Under-21 team for the London Olympics Qualifiers.
The PFF, which is planning to start the camp of the national Under-21 football team for the Olympic Qualifiers from January 15 at Lahore, is reluctant to unveil the names of the coaching staff. Sources said that the president will sign the list of the coaching staff after his arrival from Doha in a couple of days.
In the absence of a foreign coach, it is certain that Akhtar Mohiuddin along with his supporting staff Hasan Baloch, Nouman Ibrahim and Asghar Anjum will be retained for the country’s first round matches of the Olympics Qualifiers against Malaysia to be held in Kuala Lumpur on February 23 and in Pakistan on March 9.