by Alam Zeb Safi
KARACHI: Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee plans to keep a load of coaches in the men’s senior national team camp which will begin from May 21 to prepare for the SAFF Cup slated to be held in Dhaka from September 14-25.
“Two or three coaches used to work with the team. This time we are going to hire the services of around eight coaches who will work in the camp,” PFF NC chairman Haroon Malik told ‘The News’ on Sunday. “It’s very important in the current circumstances,” he added.
Asked whether a foreign coach will head the coaching staff, Haroon said foreign coaches have not been able to forward the NC the required details which were necessary. “I cannot say at this stage who will be the head coach as Director Technical Daniel Limones will decide this. Foreign coaches have not satisfied us as they could not feed us with the required information which we had asked them to submit,” Haroon said.
About the time-frame for which the head coach will be hired, Haroon said they don’t want to create any big hurdle for the elected body in future.
“We will leave everything flexible so that the new elected PFF does not face any issue. Initially we would like to hire a coach for six months or so and the tenure could be extended provided he is able to satisfy us with his performance,” Haroon said.
He said that around four dozen players will be in the camp. “The plan is that 45 players will be put in the camp. As no league has been held so we have decided to call players on the basis of their performances in the National Challenge Cup,” Haroon said.
“There will be various issues as you know we will have to work in the camp in different areas. Fitness will be of prime concern because there have been no events. We will work on that area, besides working on the tactical and other aspects. We also will educate the players about how to interact with the media and other vital activities are part of the programme,” said Haroon, who was brought in by FIFA as chairman of the PFF NC early this year after the resignation of former chairman Humza Khan.
The NC has already announced that there will be four camps ahead of the SAFF Cup with four FIFA windows in between on which the national team could play with Asian nations.
“There will be four FIFA windows for men’s team and three for women’s. We will see how we can avail ourselves of these opportunities. We have written to the AFC member associations that Pakistan will be happy to host them during these windows. If we are able to bring in any nation or even India, it will be very good for Pakistan football and our preparations for the region’s vital assignment,” Haroon said.
Earlier, Haroon told reporters that a roadmap for the PFF elections would be unveiled in the first or second week of April.
“We plan to unveil our election roadmap in the first or second week of April which will define everything relating to the electoral process,” he said.
Asked what the previous NC had done towards the electoral process, Haroon said: “They have done work and FIFA also appreciated their effort,” he said.
Haroon is happy with the progress of the ongoing National Women Football Championship which created several headlines for negative reasons.
“I am very happy that the event is progressing quite well. It was not possible to hold qualifiers separately because of the few teams available on ground. Yes we have segregated the championship leg and development leg. You will see some tough contests in the knock-out stage of the championship when equally balanced sides will fight each other and the remaining 12 teams in the development stage will further get opportunity to hone their skills,” Haroon said.