Alam Zeb Safi – The News
KARACHI: Pakistan football team’s former coach Akhtar Mohiuddin has been surprisingly dropped from the group of coaches which is scheduled to leave for Bahrain on March 29 for an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Licence A coaching course.
The course will be held there in two phases: from March 31 to April 11 and from April 19 to 30.
Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) had planned to send six coaches, but since they did not get enough quota places, Akhtar and WAPDA’s coach Tanvir Ahmed were dropped.
Now only Hasan Baloch, Sajjad Mehmood, Najeebullah Najmi and Mohammad Habib will fly for Bahrain.
However, they have not been issued visas as yet. “We have not yet received visas,” one of the coaches said.
The PFF’s decision to drop a coach who should have been sent for the course on priority basis has raised many eyebrows.
“It’s a great injustice with Akhtar. He should have been sent on priority basis,” a former Pakistan player told this correspondent.
Akhtar, who is serving as senior national coach in the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Quetta Centre, is one of the learned coaches in Pakistan.
He got a coaching diploma from Germany in 1993. That diploma was declared by the AFC equivalent to its Licence B.
Ironically, those coaches who got their Licence B in 2006 are being sent for Licence A, but the man who has served the country as head coach on several occasions has been shabbily treated.
Akhtar served as Pakistan coach for the 2010 Asian Games, 2008 SAFF Cup, the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers and the 2007 World Cup Qualifiers.
In the World Cup Qualifiers in 2007 in Aleppo, Pakistan stunned the then Asian Champions Iraq by holding them 0-0 in their away leg. This improved the country’s ranking by 15 places.
Akhtar has been constantly associated with coaching. Recently, he held several training sessions with the Chaman-based Premier League clubs Muslim FC, Afghan FC and PACA and practically informed the players about Barcelona style of football. He has studied a lot about Barcelona’s playing style and their techniques, particularly about ball possession, those close to him claim.
In 2013, he acted as head of the TSG Group during the National Women Football Championship in Lahore.
PFF’s secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi said he had made his best effort for Akhtar. “I made my best effort, but unfortunately we could not get quota for six coaches,” Lodhi told this correspondent.
However, he was quick to add that Akhtar would be sent to Bahrain for a Licence A course in November.
Lodhi also made it clear that the PFF was focusing on young coaches.
“We want to groom mostly young coaches. Akhtar has not been on our coaching panel for the last one and a half years. Nor is he attached with any club. But because he has been a former Pakistan coach we respect him and will try to provide him an opportunity to do his Licence A course,” Lodhi said.