By Sports Correspondent – The News
KARACHI: National Football Challenge Cup champions Pakistan Air Force (PAF) are likely to rope in Aslam Khan, former Pakistan goalkeepers’ coach, as their head coach for the Pakistan Premier Football League, which begins in September.
The management of the side was forced to bring in Aslam after Shehzad Anwar refused to work as a “dummy coach”, sources said.
They said that Shehzad and the PAF Sports Director Shahid Nadeem had a detailed discussion last month over the matter. Shahid told Shehzad if he liked to work under their manager Mohammad Arshad he would be allowed to work as coach. Shehzad told him that Arshad should work as a full-time manager and he would work as a coach with authority.
The sources said that Shahid told Shehzad that it would be difficult as Arshad had shaped the team and he would not be disturbed.
During the last Premier League, Arshad was seen handling the team on the field despite being the manager.
Although Arshad is an international player, he does not have Licence B which is a pre-requisite for serving a team as head coach in the country’s top league.
According to the Premier League rules, if any team played a game without a Licence B coach they would be fined Rs25,000 per match.
Last year, Shehzad, who is a civilian employee of the PAF at Sargodha, was inducted by the team management as head coach in order to meet the criteria of having a Licence B coach.
Shehzad employed all his experience as former Pakistan coach and brought a lot of improvement in the side. They finished at the fourth place, behind winners KRL, K-Electric and WAPDA.
Under Shehzad the team then annexed the title of National Football Challenge Cup in Karachi in March-April this year.
The sources said that apart from Aslam, former ZTBL coach Najeebullah Najmi has also been interviewed by the PAF for the head coach job. But Aslam’s chances are high, they said.
Last month Pakistan’s coach Mohammed Shamlan removed Aslam as goalkeepers’ coach of the national team just ahead of the country’s tour to Indonesia. He was replaced by Zahid Taj but he failed to leave a good impression as his goalkeepers conceded four goals against Indonesia in the one-off international friendly which Pakistan lost 4-0.
Aslam is fully acquainted with the PAF team environment as last season he was associated with the same outfit as goalkeepers coach.
The sources said if recruited Aslam would also train goalkeepers besides handling the team’s affairs as head coach. He will be assisted by Arshad, who also serves as manager.