KARACHI: Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) Director Technical and former head coach Shehzad Anwar will represent Pakistan in the First Asian Football Confederation (AFC) National Coaches Conference to be held in Kuala Lumpur from August 18 to 20.
For the three-day conference, the PFF had sent the names of Shehzad as Director Technical and former Pakistan coach Mohammad Shamlan as national coach around three months back.
As Shamlan recently quit Pakistan coaching after his two-year contract with the PFF expired, only Shehzad will be part of the conference.
“We had sent the names of Shamlan and Shehzad. As Shamlan quit as Pakistan coach recently he could not be replaced. Shehzad will attend the conference as PFF Director Technical,” PFF secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi told ‘The News’ from Lahore on Friday. Shehzad coached Pakistan in the SAFF Cup in 2013 in Nepal after coach Zavisa Milosavjevic of Serbia was fired when his side lost to Afghanistan 3-0 in Kabul.
Shehzad is currently doing his pro-license course. He is the first Pakistani who is doing the course.
“The conference will really help me,” Shehzad told this correspondent. “I will leave for Kuala Lumpur on Sunday,” he said. After the conference, Shehzad will also attend a meeting. Those 13 persons from Asia would be part of that meeting to which the AFC would assign coaching education responsibility in their respective regions.
The conference, the first of its kind for the confederation, will have national team coaches and technical directors from nearly all of AFC’s Member Associations.
Leading the line-up will be Australia’s 2015 Asian Cup-winning coach Ange Postecoglou, Iran and ex-Manchester United assistant coach Carlos Queiroz besides Mahdi Ali, who guided the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to third-place finish at the Asian Cup in January.
The conference is an initiative of the AFC’s recently appointed technical director Andy Roxburgh, who is keen to make it an annual event.
The conference will focus on “bridging the gap” between Asian teams and other leading football nations. A number of issues are set to be discussed, including an analysis of the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia, the AFC said.
Roxburgh will make a presentation and deliver the key note address focusing primarily on how to raise the game in Asia through improving technical standards and focusing on grassroots development.
The AFC Technical Committee Chairman, JFA vice-president and FIFA Executive Committee Member Kohzo Tashima and AFC Acting General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John will also address the delegates on the opening day.
Former France coach Gerard Houllier, who won the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup with Liverpool is among the guest speakers at the conference.