AFC go all out to support football in Pakistan: Hammam

Lahore, 29 March: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has asserted that they have given enough importance to develop Pakistan football. “AFC is committed to develop football in well-known South Asian country and it will work hard towards its commitment,” said AFC President Mohamed bin Hammam. “Pakistan have huge populations and football there needs to be developed; there is enormous potential. We need a clear plan. AFC as well as FIFA has many excellent development and education programs and we need similar programs in Pakistan which complement all that work. We need a clear vision on how we develop the game in this country. We will leave no stone unturned to give all out support to PFF which is already moving with positive sign,” he added.

AFC Chief, during an hour meeting with Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat at Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, discuses a road map for the development of Pakistan football on the eve of AFC Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Faisal who is also FIFA Disciplinary Committee member.

Mohamed bin Hammam has pledged to ensure that all AFC member associations including Pakistan will be given every opportunity to progress. He has also pledged to build strong bonds of friendship and unity within the Asian football family under his leadership.

Hammam congratulated Faisal for getting berth in World Cup South Africa 2010 Committee and Faisal who will adjudicate Disciplinary Cases of World Cup South Africa 2010 as Member of FIFA Disciplinary Committee detailed for this historic mega event. Coming World Cup will be the 19th edition of the premier international football tournament, scheduled to take place between 11 June and 11 July 2010.” To enter World Cup Committee is not mere achievement and it is honor for AFC, South Asia and, of course Pakistan, that an Asian will solve matters of World Cup matches,” added by Qatar-born Hammam who was elected 9th President of AFC at its Congress in Kuala Lumpur on 14 August 2002.

Faisal thanked Hammam for all the support he had given to PFF particularly AFC AID-27 Coaching Scheme and 36th Asian U19 Championship 2009 (the event later on shifted to Tehran due to security concern) and Vision Asia – an AFC’s grand plan for a continent-wide program to raise the standards of Asian football at all levels, be it on the field of play, administration or sports science.

Hammam also appreciated the efforts of PFF on Grass Root and Youth Development Level and promised the increase of Number of Coaches for Pakistan in Asian Football Confederation (AFC) AID-27 Financial Assistance Scheme. PFF have currently twenty-seven Youth coaches to spot, select and train potential U-13 to U-18 players as part of the PFF Youth Development Program. Pakistan is among the 27 nations who are eligible for the AID-27 Scheme, and are receiving the AFC financial support for football development through the salary for coaches, especially grassroots and youth coaches.

“There are lots of plans to bring Pakistan football up to the standard to be expected of a nation considered to be the sixth most populated country of the world. They are all a long way from fruition, but do not think Pakistan is lost to football just yet,” added Hammam.

“Football will be restructured at the grassroots level,” Hammam says. “I hope Vision Asia Project will change the fortune of football in Pakistan. Hammam said it is his desire to visit Pakistan again. I visited Lahore way back in 2004 for foundation-laying ceremony of Lahore’s Goal Project. “Now PFF have a glittering head quarter and it is good to heard Peshawar project is in full speed while Karachi Project will soon be in action. PFF will get the four after completion of three,” said Hammam who is also Chairman of FIFA GOAL Project Bureau.

He added that Football for Hope Projects will become part of Pakistan several times in future as PFF is in full swing under dynamic leadership of Faisal.” I extend to you (Faisal) my heartfelt appreciation for your untiring and steady efforts to lift football from scratches since taking over PFF head seat in 2003,” says AFC Chief who appreciated the way Pakistan conceded only one goal in 270 minutes of play in SAFF Championship 2009 and that too on set-piece.