by Alam Zeb Safi
KARACHI: Despite the prevailing uncertainty about the resumption of domestic football activities due to COVID-19, Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalization Committee on Wednesday announced that it has hired the services of Spain’s Daniel Limones as Director Technical for the next six months.
“Today I am going to make an important announcement. We have hired the services of Daniel Limones as Director Technical for six months,” PFF Normalisation Committee chairman Humza Khan told a virtual news conference.
“He has officially joined PFF,” Humza was quick to add.
Limones, who also attended the news conference, was previously associated with Spanish La Liga giants Club Atletico de Madrid and was working with the club’s academy as head coach and academy manager.
After having failed to meet its mandate of holding PFF elections within nine months, NC has got an extension of over six months until December 31, 2020, to fulfil the obligations for which FIFA appointed it.
“Appointing Daniel was not an immediate decision but once we got a suitable candidate we appointed him,” said Humza, who refused to divulge information about the privileges which the Spanish will be receiving during his stint with the PFF NC.
When asked what the need was of appointing Daniel when it is expected that in the six months no football activities would be held, Humza said Daniel would prepare a blue-print and that would help in future.
“Daniel will prepare a blue-print on coaches education, events and other technical aspects of the game and when we pass on the PFF headquarters and the road-map for football development to the elected PFF they may take help from it,” Humza said.
Limones, a UEFA Pro Licence coach, has also worked at other Spanish clubs, including Rayo Vallecano.
As PFF’s Technical Director, Limones will design and execute strategies for football development.
“Although I don’t think immediate impact will come but the main point is that you start the things. Although we are for a short time we will be asked by people what we have done for football development,” Humza said.
He faced a volley of questions regarding the PFF NC neutrality, election plan, and domestic and international events.
Humza said he plans to extend domestic football by inserting a few more tiers, holding the Premier League, completing the second tier league and launching a women’s league.
He is also working on arranging bilateral series with foreign nations for both Pakistan’s men and women teams.
“We have communicated with some countries for the bilateral series but the situation will be clear once COVID-19 is under control,” said Humza, also a former Karachi United skipper.
Responding to a question Humza said that they had made plans for holding elections and club scrutiny, but those would be revisited keeping in view the current situation.
“There will be club scrutiny along with some activities. It all depends on how the situation turns out,” Humza said.
Limones said that Pakistan has 220 million population and he would try to prepare a road-map which would have cohesion and uniformity.
“Pakistan has a huge population. We will try to make such a blue-print which could bring uniformity in the system and bring everyone on the same page,” Daniel said.