KARACHI: Pakistan football team’s assistant coach Shehzad Anwar has dismissed reports that Zavisa Milosavljevic will be shown the door after humiliating defeats at the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers last week.
While reports have surfaced that the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has made up its mind on sacking the Serbian from the post of head coach, Shehzad said he was set to continue until his contract expires in November this year.
Pakistan featured in their most crucial assignment when they took part in the qualifiers since Zavisa joined in 2011. The team was required to win at least two matches in Group B that featured the hosts, Tajikistan and Macau.
Despite strong preparations and a hefty amount spent by the PFF, Pakistan lost their matches against the central Asian countries but managed to fish out a win against Macau in their last encounter.
However, Shehzad said Milosavljevic’s sacking was not on the cards. “They’re just rumours,” Shehzad told The Express Tribune. “As an assistant coach I haven’t heard anything. Submitting a tour report is a regular practice. I haven’t heard anything about the Serb getting fired during.”
Meanwhile, Shehzad also downplayed Pakistan’s poor show, saying the team showed significant improvement.
“We used to concede a lot of goals against these teams but in this tournament we played well. If we get another coach, he will have to start from scratch and that will unsettle the progress we’ve made.”
Meanwhile, PFF Secretary Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi said the federation will take a week to go through the report before commenting any further.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2013.