by Ali Ahsan
Serbian football coach Zaviša Milosavljević wants to coach the Pakistan national team again. He had been Pakistan manager from 2011 to 2013, before being controversially fired by the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) after losing a friendly against Afghanistan in Kabul.
In an exclusive chat with FootballPakistan.com, the UEFA A License and AFC Pro License holder revealed his desire to return to Pakistan again. “Pakistan has a really special place in my heart. Those two years I spent, the players I coached, the people I met is something I have never forgotten. I really want to return to Pakistan and coach the national team again,” expressed Zaviša.
The 60 year old Serb has had an interesting coaching career after retiring from playing in 1988. He has coaching experiences in his native Serbia as well as in the African countries of Rwanda and Lesotho before joining Pakistan in 2011.
Under him, Pakistan took part in the 2011 SAFF Championship in India, AFC U22 Championship qualifiers in Saudi Arabia, Al-Nakba Cup in Palestine, and 2013 AFC Challenge Cup in Kyrgyzstan.
After his unceremonious sacking, Zaviša joined Kyrgyzstan club FC Dordoi-Bishkek in 2014. He then brought in the likes of Pakistan NT stars Kaleemullah, Muhammad Adil and Saddam Hussain to FC Dordoi to help the side become Kyrgyzstan league and cup winners.
Zaviša then coached briefly in China, before joining the Uzbekistan U23s in 2019. The Central Asian powerhouse finished 4th in the 2020 AFC U23 Championship, with Zaviša as assistant to fellow Serb Ljubinko Drulović.
Zaviša said he has been following Pakistan’s football news for a while and remains concerned over the political turmoil plaguing the sport since 2015.
PFF remains currently banned by FIFA since April 2021 after the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee was forcibly evicted from PFF House by the Ashfaq Shah group. While the Pakistani government has removed the group and now controls PFF House since November and has promised to return it back to NC, it has yet to happen so far.
“I really hope the Normalisation Committee gets back full control of PFF and it can run its matters without any further interference, including a return of Pakistan’s national teams after FIFA ban is lifted. The players have already lost too many years because of this political mess,” expressed Zaviša.
He reiterating his desire to coach Pakistan again if given the call by the Normalisation Committee, “A country of 200 million people deserves a good national football team. I feel my services can help achieve that.”