Sharida still interested in Pakistan job: Ahmed Jan

By our correspondent

KARACHI: Former FIFA referee Ahmed Jan has said that Bahraini coach Salman Ahmed Sharida is still interested in the job as the coach of the Pakistan football team provided the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) makes a sincere effort to convince him.

“Sharida has contacted me several times and I am sure that the PFF will be able to strike a deal with him if it makes a sincere effort,” Ahmad Jan told ‘The News’ in an interview here on Sunday.

“Though Sharida has taken up the job of Bahrain coach, I am sure that he will accept Pakistan’s offer.

“I am sure that he will accept an offer upto $8000-10,000.

“Sharida drastically improved the standard of the Pakistan team and one could recall the 2006 Asian Games in Doha when Pakistan troubled teams like Japan, North Korea and Syria.”

Ahmed Jan accused current Pakistan coach Tariq Lutfi for hatching a conspiracy against Sharida which ultimately caused his premature ouster.

“Sharida did not leave the post willingly after the Doha Asian Games but it was due to Tariq Lutfi working against him,” Ahmad Jan said.

“Through certain players and other relevant people, he tried to disrupt the team’s environment because he (Lutfi) was acting as head coach before Sharida took over the job in 2005.”

Ahmed Jan is of the view that European coaches are not the solution to the problem.

“Due to a short coaching contract, they are unable to adjust themselves to the environment here and when they start settling down they are fired prematurely as the PFF is unable to afford their salaries,” he pointed out.

He added that the PFF has experimented several times with Tariq Lutfi, Akhtar Mohiuddin, Nasir Ismail, Siddique Shaikh and Mohammad Rasheed and thinks it is time to give someone else a chance.

“If the PFF is unable to afford a foreign coach, then there are several other coaches like Khalid Mehmood Butt from WAPDA, former international striker Abdul Ghafoor from Peshawar, former Pakistan captain Akber Raeesani from Quetta and Chaudhry Ashgar who, if given the chance, are capable enough to improve the standard of the team,” the referee said.

He also termed the Pakistan Premier Football League as a failed exercise.

“The 16 teams involved in the recently concluded Premier League spent around Rs65 million but to no avail. Only 15000 people saw the whole league spanning over three-and-a-half months while the final of the local level league sponsored by KASB here a couple of years back was witnessed by around 22,000 people and the whole world saw it through television,” he said.

He advised the PFF to take concrete steps for the promotion of the game in the country.

“It is not the time of experimentation but concrete steps are needed to improve the standard of football in the country,” he concluded.