Editorial – The News on Sunday
The Football World Cup 2014 comes as a wake-up call for the lovers of football in Pakistan, looking sadly and shockingly at the poor performance of Pakistan football team over the last few decades. Even today, there is more that Pakistan Football Federation has to answer for.
While sports in Pakistan, in general, do not seem to be on the priority list of government’s sports institutions, football, in particular, has been one of the most neglected. Besides flashes of success and promise of individual players in the 1950s and 60s, and a recent unexpected performance of Pakistan’s street children in Brazil, football remains a totally ignored sport for the authorities concerned. The Pakistan Football Federation, the institution responsible for the uplift of the game, has still to cover a lot of ground before being able to prepare a national football team that makes the country proud at the national and international levels. It is believed that the PFF is administratively and economically a weak body, depending mainly on the funds it receives from international institutions, such as FIFA and the AFC. To add to it, petty politics in sports institutions is another reason for this poor state.
Individual players in the 1950s and 60s, such as Turab Ali, Moosa Ghazi, Murad Bakhsh, Abdul Ghafoor Majna, and Muhammad Yunus Changezi proved that there was no dearth of talent. Continuity in hunting for talent and investing in the players would have won us laurels at home and abroad. But, unfortunately, a couple of decades down the road, it became a gradual but speedy decline of the game, culminating in a complete absence of our national team at the international level.
To make a turnaround, the PFF, with serious and active support from provincial and national governments, will have to work in tandem to realise the potential we have for football.