PFF to hire consultant and foreign coach

By Alam Zeb Safi [The News]

KARACHI: Pakistan plans to hire the services of former English footballer Graham Roberts as consultant, a top official of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) said on Saturday.

“We have invited Graham Roberts through a sponsor and he is expected to come to Pakistan in the next few days,” the official said.

He said that Roberts is a license B coach and it would be better if the PFF is able to get his services free of cost.

“We will put him on probation for two months and if he is able to turn out to be productive then we will keep him for an extended period,” the official said.

“Through his presence our AID-27 coaches will also learn a lot and if he proves his worth then we could also think about his future status,” the official added.

Meanwhile, ‘The News’ also learnt that former Pakistan coach Salman Ahmad Sharida of Bahrain has contacted the PFF and has shown his interest in coaching Pakistan team.

The PFF is ready to offer him a package of $6000 but it is not in a position to hire his services through his government which he had desired so in the past in order to get a healthier package.

After he had shown an interest, the PFF is planning to manage a visa for him and it is expected that he will soon land in Pakistan to discuss the matter about his contract with the top officials of the federation.

The PFF is very much interested in Sharida as he had impressed the authorities during his first stint as a coach when Pakistan had extended good performance in the last Asian Games held in Doha, Qatar, in December 2006. Sharida had quit his job after that assignment without completing his two-year contract with the PFF due to personal reasons.

Currently, Sharida, also a former Bahrain national team player, is coaching Al-Muharraq club, one of the top-ranked clubs of Bahrain. But it is certain that Sharida, if signs a contract, will start his work after the Asian Games in China, as Akhtar Mohiuddin has already been given the responsibility to serve as head coach of the Pakistan team during the continental assignment.