By Malik Riaz Hai Naveed, Founder FootballPakistan.com
Pakistan Women Football Team will play their last of three friendly matches against the Bahraini National Team today at 6.30 pm. Before the crucial game we have had the chance to talk to Abiha Haider.
1- You got beaten twice by Bahrain. How do you want to bounce back in the last match?
AH: From our first match to the second, we showed improvement on every position on the field. As this is the first ever experience of playing international friendly matches I think it is a great chance for us to learn from our mistakes and overcome them. As we have our last match on 29th, We shall play it as one team and with full confidence. We should learn from our previous mistakes and try not to make them again. If we succeed in doing this then we can expect a great match.
2- Religion seems to be very important for you. How can you combine religion and football?
AH: We cannot combine religion and football as both are completely different from one another. Religion is obligated on us by Allah and football is something we choose as a passion or something to go beyond. As having my passion for football, I try to follow religion also and it does not make me difficult to play football. I feel more confident by practicing both.
3- You are not only active in sports but also in politics. Do you think sports can be politics too, if yes why?
AH: I dont think sports can be politics too. Both are way different from eachother. If i’ll ever get a chance to go forward in politics, onething I would surely do is to use it for the promotion of women sports in Pakistan espacially football.
4- If you would be in charge for the SAFF Cup, what were three steps you take to make it a big event in Pakistan?
AH: The main need of a player is to get a good accomodation and good facilities. As we have been provided with the best possible accomodation and facilities here in Bahrain. My Most important task would be to provide an equally great accomodation to all the international teams participating in SAFF Cup. The second important task I would do is to arrange the best opening and closing ceremony as they are the heart of any event and play the role of making it a world class or a flop event. Keeping in mind that the ceremony and the matches should go live on every channel. This will also generate more media support and publicity. Third thing I would be doing is to arrange some Literate tourist guides who will show our city and our culture to the teams. They shall take them to all the tourist places. This will give the teams a good image of Pakistan.
5- Your coach is Tariq Lutfi. What are the most important things you learned from him?
AH: Sir Tariq is the most respectable person and an amazing coach one can ever get. We are already blessed to have him as our Head Coach. He always focuses on team building, makes us all confident about how much strength we all have to achieve our goals. The first thing a player would need is to have a comfortable level with the coach so he/she can discuss all their queries/problems openly. Sir Tariq is the person we can talk our heart out with. He always makes us comfortable and give solutions to our problems which helps us in giving a good performance. His advices are something no one can compete with and he always focuses on making the team as ONE UNIT. His presence plays a great role in developing players personality.