November 1, 2010
By Imran Ali Teepu [Dawn]
ISLAMABAD, Nov 1: Graham Roberts, Pakistan`s newly appointed coaching consultant,
has lashed out at the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) for approaching former national
coach Salman Sharida, terming it a `hypocritical` and `double-cross` stance of the
“It`s poor and unfair on their [PFF`s] part that they approached Sharida when I am here to help
Pakistan football,” rued British coach Robert, while talking to Dawn here on Monday. “The PFF stance is
hypocritical and double-cross.
“This is unprofessional and insulting to me because English football is rated very high globally if you
compare it with Bahrain`s football,” he said, while indicating PFF secretary Ahmed Yar Lodhi`s hidden
agenda for approaching Sharida who hails from Bahrain.
Lodhi, the other day, had stated that Sharida, in PFF`s last conversation with him some two weeks ago
had said he would be coming to Pakistan to discuss the terms and conditions of a new contract with
the PFF in November.
Sharida, who joined Pakistani team in 2005 before leaving the PFF unceremoniously, has now been
hired by the Bahrain Football Association (BFA).
During Sharida`s tenure, Pakistan performed reasonably well at the international arena but political
wranglings within the corridors of power of FIFA Football House in Lahore forced him to quit.The
national squad, currently training under Roberts at the Jinnah Stadium, Pakistan Sports Complex, are
expected to perform relatively better at the upcoming Asian Games. The coach also has hopes from
“My boys are doing quite well. I am hopeful of a better show from them as they have the potential to
win [at least] three matches at the Asian Games,” claimed Roberts, who was hired in September for
two months to assist Pakistani team and its coaches.
However, Roberts, while expressing his anguish over the PFF attitude towards him, remarked: “I have
been sent by my British sponsors to assist Pakistan football. I am sincerely doing it without getting a
single penny from the PFF.”
Roberts, 51, revealed he was earning almost Â£20,000 pound sterling for his two-month contract in
England. He, however, refrained from commenting on his current package he was getting for the PFF
The coach, who was apparently disturbed over PFF`s approach, added: “I will quit after expiry of my contract with the PFF as they moved in haste [in approaching Sharida].”
He insisted the PFF should have first analysed his performance.
Roberts also emphasised there was no dearth of talent in Pakistan football.
Meanwhile, sources in the FIFA Football House, Lahore told Dawn that Asghar Khan Anjum coach for
PEL, a football team in Pakistan Premier Football League, was included in the list from nowhere and
dropped goal-keeping coach Noman.
“Dropping the goal-keeping coach is totally unfair on part of the PFF management as it will have a
negative affect on the team`s performance in the Asian Games,” said the source.
According to Pakistan Sports Board officials the PFF has forwarded a list of 20-player squad for the
Asian Games, slated to be held this month in China.
Jaffar Khan, Mohammad Ahmed, Haider Ali, Atif Bashir Qureshi, Samar Ishaq, Mohammad Khan Jr,
Mohammad Adil, Kalimullah, Yasir Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan Asif, Ahsanullah, Zainullah, Saddam
Hussain, Umar Farooq, Aurangzeb Baloch, Aamir Gul, Abbas Ali, Shah Noor Qayyum, Fraaz Ahmed,
Akhtar Mohiuddin (coach), Graham Paul Robert (coaching consultant), Hassan Baloch (assistant
coach), Asghar Khan Anjum (assistant coach/manager), Kamran Mehdi (physio).