‘PFF keeps womens football limited’

Syed Intikhab Ali [The News]
Monday, September 17, 2012

KARACHI: Pakistan women football team’s 0-8 defeat at the hands of Nepal has exposed the weak planning by the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF).

Afghanistan thrashed them 4-0 in the SAFF championship a couple of days back in Sri Lanka.

Not a single national championship has been organised in any city except Islamabad since 2005 which confirms the lack of planning for women’s football.

However, now is the time to plan women championships outside Islamabad since a lot of new women football clubs have been established in Karachi, Peshawar and Lahore.

PFF officials were not available for comments about why championships were held only in Islamabad. ‘The News’ made several attempts to contact Secretary PFF Ahmad Yar Khan Lodhi, but he did not respond.

FIFA and AFC have directed Pakistan authorities to promote women football in the country and made it mandatory for them to spend 10 percent of the funds on women football.

A woman football organiser said that it was not surprising that Pakistan were defeated by Nepal and Afghanistan. “Nepal are far better than us because they have been playing football for much longer than us. Afghanis have girls who were brought up in Germany and England and so they have played football over there. At least five of their girls have European origin,” she said. “But we defeated Maldives 3-0, which shows that we have talent.”

Football talent among the women of our country is not being groomed properly because of mismanagement by the PFF.

There is no doubt about the popularity of the game among women as 35 clubs have been registered with the PFF while quite a few are unregistered.

A group of players said that tournaments were organised in Islamabad perhaps because of residential problems for the participating teams.

An organiser of PFF women wing said that they once approached National Sports Training and Coaching Centre (NSTCC), which is owned by Pakistan Sports Board, where residential and playing facilities are available at one place. “But the authorities concerned at NSTCC did not allow us to organise events there, due to which we have been unable to hold women football events in Sindh.”