Lahore, 24 June : Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, MNA, has acclaimed the launch of the Vision Asia as a milestone in the country’s football history. He believes that adopting Vision Asia would make Pakistan more competitive in famed competitions such as the World Cup, Olympics. “The impact of the Vision Asia-Pakistan program cannot be felt and seen overnight, but, I am sure there is no way to go but up. Vision Asia is a program initiated by AFC President Mohammed Bin Hammam to raise the standard of football in the Asian region through a holistic approach, The idea of Vision Asia is to help the different countries in the region develop their individual structures best suited to their individual environment,” added Faisal who chaired PFF Congress at FIFA Football House, Lahore today and congratulated Pakistan twenty20 team for winning World Cup on behalf of Congress members
Vision Asia Director Brendan Menton, head of five-member Vision Pakistan Project Assessment team, also gave healthy presentation during Congress.
Faisal added that he met FIFA President Sepp Blatter twice during 59th FIFA Congress at Bahamas recently and FIFA Chief appreciated the football promotion work since 2003 and said that the time is not far way when Pakistan will be among top playing nations of Asia. Blatter is convinced the standard of the game in Pakistan has greatly improved in recent years.
Faisal once again reminded that our main target is to complete SAF Games hat-trick next year when Dhaka will stage 11th South Asian Games. We will develop strong Pakistan U23 team to give us third gold on the trot after triumphs in 2004 and 2006. Georg Kottan will not only look after National team but also take care of Dhaka-bound team and 16th Asian Games 2010 team.
Faisal pledged to continue his drive to youth development, women soccer and to professionalize the game in Pakistan. “We have achieved a lot in the last six years and enhancement of Pakistan soccer exposure to 2100 % from 2003 to 2008 as compare to Activities from 1998 to 2003 showed that we are serious, committed about uplift and welfare of this game in this part of the world. It is remarkable that PFF is the only body affiliated with 46-member AFC to get three Goal Projects and more are in highway.
Faisal said: “The standard of football in the country is enhancing day by day and we have tuned the game to such frequency that KASB Group of Companies sponsors our main event – Pakistan Premier League, after NBP did the same with National Challenge Cup at Hyderabad last April. Pakistan have got the large pool of footballers and the number is growing with each passing day.
AFC, in recognition of PFF making football happening sport, assured increased financial and technical support and Hammam, Faisal said, also showed satisfaction over AFC AID-27 Financial Assistance Scheme through which 27 Youth Coaches are showing their progress throughout Pakistan and said that soon the amount of Scheme will be raised to $ 10,000 from $ 6,000 in order to allow PFF to engage more Youth Coaches for imparting training to the young footballers of different age groups under Grass Root and Youth Development Program.” The increment in number of coaches will also help in achieving the target of PFF Vision 2020 which PFF has unveiled in 21 June 2008 – PFF Congress,” added Faisal who is also AFC Disciplinary Committee member.
Faisal added : “Hamman also hailed current PFF set-up for superb organization of AFC U14 Festival of Football 2006 and AFC President’s Cup 2007 and awarded us hosting rights of Group-D of 36th AFC U19 Championship Qualifier 2009 despite security concern. The six team show will provide perfect boost to Pakistani football and it will help to exploit the untapped potential of the game in this country when Uzbekistan, runners-up of the previous edition, will fight it out with Pakistan, Iran, Lebanon, Turkmenistan and Maldives in coming November.”
He added that PFF’s annual budget is lurking around Rs. 40 million, clearly unrivaled with Rs. 800 plus million annual budget of All India Football Federation (AIFF). “Yet we keep on producing sensational results as compared to our neighbors. We overwhelmed Kyrgyzstan, Chinese Taipei, Turkmenistan, Singapore, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal and drew with Iraq, Iran, Oman, China and Bahrain in recent events. We bagged our fourth gold in SAF Games history in 2006, outpacing India’s three.”
“But there is still much needed to be done and it will be my endeavor to see that Pakistan football is one day recognized as the best, at least in Asia. We need to set the highest benchmark possible in terms of professionalism,” said Faisal, the 17th President in PFF’s 60-year history.