KARACHI: Pakistan football authorities may face a tricky situation over the inclusion of foreign-based players in the national team in future after the country’s star striker Kaleemullah signed a Rs10 million two-year deal with Kyrgyzstan’s club Dordoi Bishkek.
The PFF had shut doors on the foreign-based footballers arguing that they were unable to attend the camp in time. Foreign-based players had been told if they were unable to attend the camp 15 days before any international assignment they would not be considered for the national duty.
Now that Chaman-based Kaleem has signed a long-term deal with Dordoi, it will be seen how the PFF will deal with the issue. Kaleem may also face the same problem as the other foreign-based players face over their release from their squads in time. If the PFF accommodates Kaleem in the team irrespective of the time in which he joins the outfit then it might invite criticism from the other foreign-based players who play leagues in Denmark and England.
“The policy varies with the time, so we will do whatever is fruitful for us,” Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi told ‘The News’ on Monday. “Kaleem has been nurtured here and knows the system well, but still it depends on coach Mohammad Shamlan. What he decides will be followed,” Lodhi said.
Winger Mohammad Adil also plays for Dordoi and he is also expected to be given a decent long-term contract after his one-year deal with the Kyrgyzstan club expires at the end of this year. Both Kaleem and Aadil, who are in Pakistan on one-month leave these days, will represent Pakistan in their series against India next month. The two countries will play a couple of matches at the Bangalore Football Stadium on August 17 and 20.
Former Pakistan foreign coaches George Kottan and Zavisa Milosavljevic liked the foreign-based players, but Shamlan, who took charge as Pakistan coach in August last year, has totally ignored them.
Pakistan have several solid players playing in Denmark and England in the shape of Mohammad Ali, Hasan Bashir, Yousuf Butt, Yaqoob Butt, Nabil Aslam, Atif Bashir, Shabbir Khan, Adnan Ahmed and former Fulham defender Zeeshan Rehman, who plays for Pahang FA in the Malaysia Super League. All these players have represented Pakistan. Several other youngsters have also expressed their desire to play for Pakistan.