Football is on rise in Pakistan: Brazilian coach Campello

LAHORE, Feb 13 (APP)‑ Pakistan Air Force (PAF)’s Brazilian head coach Jader Campello, who guided PAF to A‑Division Soccer after a lapse of five years, is convinced the standard of the game in Pakistan has greatly improved in recent years.

“Pakistani football has much potential, there are some good players and some good teams, and of course there is no lack of money, and facilities are satisfactory,” said Rio‑de Janeiro born coach Campello here on Friday, who is on a diplomatic mission to Pakistan and has been serving as the PAF football team coach since 2006.

Campello took up the coaching assignment with PAF following an understanding made between the Chiefs of Air Staff of Brazil and Pakistan and he believes there are still some hurdles that need to be overcome for football to blossom in the Pakistan. “What’s lacking is a sense of professionalism, while some obstructions made it difficult for players from the region to follow the modern path of the game”.

“Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) is lucky to have good leadership in its President,Faisal Saleh Hayat who is making all out efforts for the development of football at all levels”,said the foreign coach.

“ It is wonderful to note that many Pakistan‑born players are now playing football in all parts of world”,he pointed out.

He said that Pakistan have talented footballers in far‑flung areas. PAF’s Khalid Khan, who conceded only one goal in PFF League mission, and Saleh Khan, who netted the goal of his life at Jinnah Stadium, belongs to Khyber Agency ‑ a tribal area in FATA region.

“ Pakistan need to initiate a culture of keeping physical trainers both with the national side as well as at club level if they really want to earn a name at global level in football. Along with skill development, the physical development of the players should also be taken into consideration as it is crucial in cultivating quality players,” added by Campello who will be completing his coaching assignment with PAF in April this year.

PAF leapt to A‑Division Soccer on 31 January when they edged out Pakistan Railways 2‑1 in the final of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) League‑Departmental Phase at Jinnah Stadium, Islamabad. After the qualification of PAF, the coming 14‑team Pakistan Premiership 2009 will now be comprised all services teams viz Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy and PAF.

He stressed that the use of European and Latin American coaches can help the game in Pakistan improve further, “but only it they are given enough time to work, and plan properly.

Bahraini trainer Salman Ahmed Sharida did fine job for Pakistan in his 15‑month contract and helped them winning Colombo ‘s South Asian Games three years ago.

“ One day we may see a Pakistani team which can compete at the same level as those from East Asia and Arab, but only when football will no longer be seen as just a game,” Campello concluded.