By Alam Zeb Safi (The News)
KARACHI: Pakistan football coach Zavisa Milosavljevic has left for his hometown in Serbia to do UEFA Pro Licence coaching course in a bid to utilise the free time available to him.
Zavisa, who has done UEFA Licence A, will return to Pakistan in the third week of July, a top official of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) told ‘The News’ on Monday.
The lean patch in the activities of the Pakistan football team was a blessing for the Serbian who has been relieved by the PFF for doing a very important coaching course.
Zavisa was expected to hold a camp from June 20 for Pakistan’s likely tours of Singapore and Bahrain in early July. But the delay in finalising of the tours helped the Serbian get a chance to fly back home to improve his coaching qualification.
Pakistan wanted to send their team to Singapore in early July, but Singapore want Pakistan to play with them in August.
“We have been verbally told by Singapore that they would like to host Pakistan at the end of July or early August. We have told them that they should write to us about their plan,” PFF secretary Col Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi told this correspondent.
The game against Bahrain, which was expected to be held in early July, is also yet to be finalised.But in spite of all the uncertainty, Lodhi hopes that at least Pakistan will get two tours ahead of the SAFF Cup which is scheduled from September 1-11 in Nepal.
“I hope that we will be able to at least manage a couple of tours for our team which I think will be sufficient for the preparation for the SAFF Cup,” Lodhi said. He was confident that a couple of matches against African country Lesotho would also be finalised.
Although Lodhi did not mention the schedule of these games against Lesotho, sources said these encounters against Lesotho would be held on August 13 and 16.
Pakistan are also scheduled to play a FIFA international friendly against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on September 21. But this game would be after the SAFF Cup, the main target of the Greenshirts.
Zavisa has not had any official assignment since failing to guide Pakistan to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup finals in March. The Serbian, who has been serving as Pakistan coach since November 5, 2011, has been receiving a hefty amount of around $9,300 per month from the PFF.
He has also been given a car, a driver, and a very good accommodation at the FIFA Football House in Lahore. He has been hired for two years and his contract will expire in November. He is likely to quit as Pakistan’s coach after completion of his contract.
During his one and a half year of association with Pakistan, he has been unable to produce good results.