Ex-skipper questions Pakistan Premier League

[by Alam Zeb Safi, The News]

KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain Ali Nawaz Baloch said on Wednesday that the country’s Pakistan Premier Football League seems to be useless and stressed that the football chiefs should find new ways and means to improve it.

“I don’t think that the Premier League has any purpose behind it,” the former striker told ‘The News’ in an interview here on Wednesday.

“The country needs young blood to come to the main stream but we see mostly highly experienced and over-age players are being utilised by the participating teams and this exercise will give no benefit to the country’s football which needs a strong base,” he pointed out.

“If the authorities want to improve football they should make such rules under which a team should be bound to keep at least five players below 18 years of age in the playing XI in the Premier League. And in order to implement such a policy the teams will be compelled to keep five young players in the reserves as well which will be used in time of injury,” he suggested.

“By applying such tactics, hundreds of young players will come to the main stream, who will then serve the country,” said Ali Nawaz, who also played league for Emirates Club in Abu Dhabi in the 70s.

To a query, he said a hectic schedule of the event is also a big hurdle in the way of utility of the marathon.

“You know, a team has to play a match every next day which is quite unnatural. If a player gets inured he does not have time for recovery and the managements also force the injured players to play because the teams need them,” he said.

“In the Premier League every team is allowed to keep up to 40 players but they cannot keep such strength due to financial constraint and that is why they cannot give ample time to their injured players for recovery,” he said.

However, he said that if the duration of the season is further extended it could resolve this prolem.

He also termed the refereeing standard as poor and stressed that the PFF should take steps to bring improvement in the area which is very important for the promotion of the game.

He also termed the daily allowances given to the referees as insufficient.

“Their daily allowances should be doubled. How an away referee will manage his budget within a Rs1200 daily allowance while living in a new city where he will also need an accommodation,” he said.

Due to low allowances out-stationed referees are forced to get the assistance of certain departments for accommodation, which also affect their neutrality in league matches.