Shehzad Anwar replaces Nasir Ismail as assistant coach

KARACHI: Young Shehzad Anwar has replaced Nasir Ismail as Pakistan football team’s assistant coach for the Pakistan tour to Singapore next month.

“Yes, we have relieved Nasir as we want to give chance to others,” Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) secretary Col Ahmad Yar Khan Lodhi confirmed to ‘The News’ on Thursday.

“The Serbian coach was not happy with our decision to remove Nasir but our main aim is to prepare a good pool of coaches for the future and so we should give chance to more coaches so that they could be trained and groomed under the foreign coach,” Lodhi clarified.

Zavisa said that he did not know about the decision. “I have no idea about it as no body has discussed with me anything like this and I don’t know about the development,” Zavisa told this correspondent.

Nasir’s understanding with Zavisa during the Under-22 Asian Cup Qualifiers in Saudi Arabia was not good but after the event they both frequently communicated with each other.

The foreign coach had even given Nasir the responsibility to observe the performance of players during the ongoing Premier League.

Sources said that Nasir had a heated debate with PFF Director Competitions and Development Pervez Saeed Mir the other day over some issue relating to the Premier League.

Mir had good relations with Nasir and it was because of his support that Nasir was able to serve as assistant coach of the national team as the rest of the officials of the federations were not happy with the attitude of Nasir.

Sources close to Nasir said that he was a very good coach, but his attitude was a problem. “If he reforms himself and keeps cool then I am sure he could turn out to be a good coach as he is not only bold but his communication skills are also far better than the rest of Pakistan’s coaches,” the source said.

Sources said that Nasir’s relations with the Sindh Football Association (SFA) were also not good when he was organising a football tournament in Ramadan along with Test cricketer Rashid Latif. That may have contributed to his ouster.

Nasir was also part of the support staff during the stint of George Kottan in 2009-2010 as Pakistan coach. Nasir could not be reached on phone despite repeated attempts.

Shehzad was officially invited to join the national team’s camp for the home series against Palestine but the matches could not be held last month following Palestine’s refusal at the eleventh hour. Shehzad has not received any official letter from the PFF about his appointment as an assistant coach as yet.

Shehzad also served as Pakistan senior team head coach during the only game against Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur in 2008 which the Green-shirts had lost 1-4.

He also acted as coach of Pakistan Under-19 team.

Pakistan will face Singapore in an international friendly on November 19 in Singapore. Before that, on November 16, the Green-shirts will take on Singapore Under 23 team.

The brief camp for the tour will start on November 10 in Lahore. Aslam Khan has been retained as goalkeeping coach for the Singapore tour.

Source: The News