KARACHI: WAPDA’s international goalkeeper Abdul Basit Ghafoor has finalised a deal with the Maldives-based football club Radiant SC for the forthcoming Premier League B division which will begin in June.
He will sign a formal contract on his arrival in the Maldives next month. This will be after five years that Basit will return to Maldives after his first stint with the Maldivian club FC R Meedhoo in 2017. He is very excited about the opportunity at a time when football in Pakistan has been passing through the most difficult phase of its history.
“I am really excited to join Radiant Sports Club. You know in Pakistan football is facing a big issue; there are no activities and it’s better to play abroad rather than sitting idle here,” Basit told ‘The News’ from Lahore on Saturday.
The credit of Basit’s return to Maldives football goes to Pakistan’s only pro-license coach Shehzad Anwar who also has to his credit stints as Pakistan head coach and Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Director Technical.
Currently Sargodha-born Shehzad is working with the Brazil’s club FC Ska Brasil. Because of his strong links at the international level he has been quite successful to adjust several Pakistan’s highly talented players in various clubs of South Asia, Central Asia and Brazil where he is currently acting as a coach of FC Ska Brasil.
“As you know Pakistan football has been suffering for the last few years. The issue hit players, coaches and referees as there were no activities. It is the best way in this situation to send players abroad for their grooming and experience in a professional environment,” Shehzad said.
“Basit will Join Radiant SC soon after Ramadan. Previously, he played for Medhoo FC Maldives in 2017 and trained in professional Club Portuguesa Desportive Sao Paulo Brazil in 2016,” he said.
Before this Shehzad also had adjusted Saadullah (2015 and 2017 in Maldives), Saqib Hanif (still playing in Maldives), Shahram Babar (2017 Maldives), Mohammad Mohsin (2017 Maldives) and Mohammad Adil (2014 Dordoi).
Shehzad also managed training opportunities in Brazil for Abdul Basit (2016), Ahsanullah (2019), Ali Uzair (2019), Umer Hayat (2019) and Ahmed Fahim (2019). He also provided opportunities to Under-20 players of Islamabad-based POPO FC, which Shehzad handles, in the FC SKA Brasil. And one of Popo’s players Waleed Khan is still playing in the Paulista Cup in Brazil. The other player Mohammad Rizwan has returned home due to highly personal reasons. Shehzad’s five players from Popo have been selected in the GSV team which will train in Ireland.
“FC SKA has Under-15, Under-17, Under-20 and professional teams and I am working to put some more players in respective age groups in future,” he said.