Sports Correspondent – The News
KARACHI: Pakistan’s former assistant coach Gohar Zaman on Thursday blasted the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) for removing national Under-16 team’s coaches Sajjad Mehmood and Hasan Baloch.
“It is the most immature decision by the PFF to sack both the coaches,” Gohar told ‘The News’ on Thursday.
“Football is being managed by non-technical people, so this is not unexpected,” the former international said.
He defended the performance of the Under-16 team in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-16 Qualifiers held recently in Lahore.
“I think our colts played good game in all the three matches. If our team creates chances against tough sides like Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) then it shows that the team has made improvement,” said Gohar, who was part of the Pakistan team from 1993 to 2003.
Gohar, who has also acted as the national team’s assistant manager, said that the PFF should not sack any coach on the basis of results.
“It is the developing phase of our colts. Previously our youngsters were not able to dribble. Now they have learnt from these coaches how to dribble, so it is improvement,” said Gohar.
Pakistan colts lost to Iran and the UAE with an identical margin of 2-0. They played a goalless draw against Sri Lanka.
Pakistan missed two easy chances against the UAE, but showed guts against strong Iran who qualified for the next year’s finals.
“Previously we used to lose to these teams by a dozen goal margin; today we have brought down the number of goals scored against us, which is a good sign,” Gohar argued.
He also defended Pakistan’s performance against Sri Lanka. “I watched that game and there too Pakistan played solid football. But you know the Sri Lankans had gone on the defensive and in that situation it usually becomes difficult for the frontline to sneak through,” Gohar added.
He said the PFF had branded the two as the best coaches when they had guided Pakistan Under-16 team to a title-winning triumph in the Under-16 SAFF Championship in Nepal in 2011. “Under Hasan Baloch Pakistan Under-13 and Under-14 teams have shown good performance in the AFC competitions,” he recalled.
He said that he was surprised by the way the PFF was being run. “They had sacked national team’s goalkeeping coach Aslam Khan after Pakistan lost to Afghanistan in Kabul 3-0 in August and now they have called Aslam back to the camp for the Philippines tour which shows that their previous decision to sack Aslam was wrong. Aslam is the best goalkeeping coach of the country,” Gohar said.