Alam Zeb Safi [The News]
KARACHI: The prospect of Brazilian players featuring in the Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) is a tantalising one.
The country, which has been crowned world champions on five occasions, is a nursery for players worldwide. Such is the amount of talent in Brazil that its players are plying their trade in all the leagues in the world; making it the biggest exporter of football players in the world.
The global football powerhouse has always assisted Pakistan in the uplift of the ‘beautiful game’ here in the country — particularly in terms of coaching and training.
And now, some of its players are interested in playing in the PPFL.
Pakistan’s young AFC License A coach Shehzad Anwar was recently sent by the Brazilian embassy in Pakistan to Sao Paulo for a coaching workshop.
During his stay, Shehzad contacted some of the Brazil-based players over playing in the PPFL and few of them including former Colombian defender Ever Antonio Palacios, Patrick Neves, Barbosa Figueiredo, Galahrami Fadallala and Rafael Fifo have shown their willingness to play in Pakistan.
However, no departmental team in the PPFL is ready to rope in any of the Brazilian aspirants in spite of their low demands.
The Sports manager of one of the resourceful departmental teams told ‘The News’ a few days ago that it is very difficult for them to hire the services of Brazilian players for $800 to $900 per month for the league.
“That amount is too much as along with salary we also will have to offer them accommodation and air-fare etc which is difficult for us to afford,” the official said.
But the official was quick to add that the PFF should rope in these Brazilian players for the PPFL as it was the need of the hour.
Meanwhile, a PFF official did not take much interest when this correspondent discussed the matter of Brazilian players with him. And that mindset of the officials shows that the standard of the game has little chance of improving in the near future.
To enhance the canvas of the PPFL, foreign players need to feature in it.
The Brazilian players are willing to play here on a low salary but that certainly doesn’t mean that they aren’t good enough. All they are trying to do is to bring some charm into the PPFL with their brief presence in it.
Even a player from Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will also not offer his services for that meagre compensation.
It is an opportunity that needs to be grabbed with both hands. If a club sincerely tries to attain the services of foreign players, sponsors can be approached for them.
Recently, a club from Nepal acquired the services of two WAPDA players Naveed Akram and Mehmood Ali on a two-month loan and the sources said the duo are being given more than $1000 per month along with other facilities.
If Pakistan are unable to bring in players from Brazil, then it should take steps to get a few from Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh which in turn would make the league more attractive for viewers and the outcome would ultimately be in the favour of the game in the country.
Brazil’s Sports and Public Relations and Foreign Affairs ministries have also agreed to provide Pakistan with an instructor free of cost for two months or more besides promising to assist the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) in holding a training camp for the junior lot in Brazil.
The offer looks encouraging for Pakistan which direly needs to raise its football standard. The PFF also plans to hire the services of a Brazilian coach for at least two years to prepare the youth for national duty. But the PFF should not waste time and fully exploit the offer, which Brazil has extended warmly.