AFC U13 Festival of Football 2011: PFF plans to broaden base of promising footballers: Faisal

Lahore, 9 Feb: Football Academies are innovative approach to educating students for a career in soccer. I am hopeful that the talent generated from these PFF affiliate-academies will also participate in our forthcoming 13th National U13 Festival of Football. In grassroots football, we aim to broaden the base by attracting new participants to the game, several academies were developed by the clubs so that they could identify and nurture talented players from as young as eight. Most of the boys in their ranks are desperate to succeed, but only a handful will make it to the top. This is stated by Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat who hoped that new-look 13th National festival of Football will dig out talented players for Pakistan to appear strongly in AFC U13 Festival of Football 2011 at Iranian Yadz City in three months time. 

Earlier in 2008, Faisal Saleh Hayat, in order to analyze the movement and commitment of Youth football coaches, working under the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) AID-27 Financial Assistance Scheme, ordered them to prepare teams for the Festival, and final phase of PFF Youth at Chak No. 68/JB’s ground in Jinnah Town, Faisalabad near Thana Thikiriwala provided four qualifiers Karachi Yellow, Jacobabad, Faisalabad Green, Faisalabad Yellow for the Sahiwal’s 10th National Festival of Football 2008. 

Acadamies and schools have their short history in the event, that’s too on small scale. Lahore Grammar School (LGS) and Divisional Public School (DPS) were in the draws of eighth edition at Punjab Stadium 2006 while few Academies Model Town, Garhi Shahue, Batapur entered in ninth edition in early 2007 at Boy Hospital No.7 Football Ground, Punjab University New Campus Ground near Muslim Town, Lahore.

PFF planned to include Academies in larger and long-run scale in the event alongwith provincial, regional, organizations teams plus outfits from AFC AID-27 coaches.“In order to put scattered boys/girls into firm platform, Academies are required. The base of football in most of the highly-reputed soccer countries revolved around Academies and it was proved in 15th Asian Cup last month when several players, rose through Academies, strolled Jordan into last eight against all odds. And if Pakistan want to gain height in soccer, more and more Academies should erupt from Pakistan soil to take soccer to new height in this part of the world. It will take time, but the way some football promoters are  giving their valuable time to Academies it will certainly help Pakistani soccer in future. It is really a commendable effort,” said Faisal who is also AFC Executive Committee Member, FIFA and World Disciplinary Committee member and Chairman AFC Disciplinary Committee. “We adhere to a proven process to develop grass root and  youth soccer players at any stage or ability level. As PFF head, the best I can do for budding talents in Pakistan is to give them a platform where they can learn how to play football and make a living out of it. It is my strongly-held belief that Academies play a crucial role in the development of not only football, but also other sports.” 

Most of the 28 Academies affiliated with PFF will participate in the coming event viz Karachi United, Vital Five, Aga Khan, Rising Stars, Karachi City, FSE, Gulshan, Fantas, Karachi Kickers (Karachi), Rawalpindi Royal, Westridge (Rawalpindi), Rana Sajjad, Young Baqir (Jaranwala), Kohat, Bambino (Kohat), Model Town, LGS (Lahore), Al Fatah, J.K (Faisalabad), Essa Khan (Chaman), Gwadar Development (Gwadar), Rehman (Landi Kotal), Saleem Khan (Managa Mandi), Okara (Okara), Wah (Wah Cantt), Jamshoroo Youth (Hyderabad), FATA (FATA) and Model (Mianwali).