SAFF Women Championship 2010 – You must take the steps to rectify weaknesses: Faisal

Lahore, 11 December: “I you want to be a good player, it’s important that you are fully aware of your weaknesses through getting feedback from people around you. Next, you must take the steps to rectify these weaknesses. Getting honest feedback is part of the learning process in becoming a top footballer. I want you to sharpen this characteristic always,” this is stated by Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat (MNA) while hoping good display from Pakistan National Women team who will face Maldives in the SAFF Women Championship on 14 December (11:05 AM).

Eight teams will go all out for the winning trophy when the first-ever SAFF Women Championship 2010 will be held at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Apart from India, Bangladesh will also have to put up with the challenges of Sri Lanka and Bhutan in Group A while Group B consists of SA Games silver medalists Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Maldives.

Faisal added that PFF trying to prepare Women team ultimately for the coming AFC Women’s Asian Cup , AFC U-19 Championship and AFC U-16 Championship in 2012. For that, these years will be fundamental to improve in terms of technique, tactics and football culture in the country. “I am not a man to say ‘certainly’, and I do not chase only winning the title since I am trying to build and develop the team. Since Bangladeshi show a tournament lasts only for a short period the result very much depends on many factors like our players’ physical condition and opponents’ condition and so on. In this time, I will bring to Cox’s Bazar players who are talented, know how to stay in group and who have a big will to improve themselves,: added by head coach Tariq Lutfi.

Faisal, also AFC Disciplinary Committee Chairman and FIFA Disciplinary Committee member, praised Shadab Training Institute of Special Education and said it was encouraging that quality institutions of special education in public and private sectors were facilitating a large number of special children.

The Pakistan National Women Football Team has been undergoing training for over a month, under head coach, Tariq, assisted by Kiran Ilyas. Before their departure to Bangladesh, the National Team paid a visit to Government Shadab Training Institute of Special Education, Lahore, a project of Government of the Punjab at Khyber Block, Allama Iqbal Town. The whole team was extremely eager about this excursion and it turned out to be a memorable one indeed.

The team first visited elementary classes where they met young children being taught by their teacher. They, then, proceeded to the music room where special children of all ages performed for the visitors. The joy and enthusiasm of the little children moved some of the girls to tears. Inspired by their energetic performances, the team also joined them and danced along. Song performances by some players followed and the show ended with a brief speech by the captain Sana Mehmood who is also skipper and stopper of National title holder Young Rising Star FC (Rawalpindi).

The tour to Shadab Institute, headed by Zubaida Syed, gave the girls a unique opportunity to interact with special children who require love and care to go on with their lives. It did not only give hope to the less privileged children but also encouraged the whole team to use the power of football to achieve sustainable social development. The team left with a renewed fervor to not only perform well in the field but also stay committed to social and human development programs.

It will be third international assignment of Pakistan Women team after Jordan Football Association (JFA) hosted third Amman international Women Futsal Championship at Jordanian capital of Amman 2006 and 11th South Asian Games Football Event at Dhaka 2010.

“ Since Women football in Pakistan is only six years old, it is natural that there is pressure (on us) for the event. But we have big motivation to improve, and to send a message to all Female players, we have to confirm that we are improving as the time ticks on. Obviously the expectation is always high. But my players should be good at dealing with such pressure because the pressure should give us energy to compete so we should not want this pressure to go away,” concluded Tariq, first-ever FIFA Coaching Instructor from South Asia either in men or women soccer arena as well as manager of 46-point PIA football team that is currently third in Pakistan Premier Football League, behind League Topper WAPDA (61 pts) and KESC (47).

Pakistan National Women team with coach Tariq Lufti, Principal of the institute Zubaida Syed at Government Shadab Training Institute of Special Education, Lahore