PFF stops Zavisa from speaking to media

KARACHI: Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) on Monday stopped coach Zavisa Milosavljevic from giving statements to the media without prior approval from the federation.

When ‘The News’ contacted Zavisa for his comments on the national Under-23 team’s forthcoming tour of Sri Lanka, he said he could not make any comment and for any inquiry about the event reporters should contact PFF secretary Col Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi.

The secretary confirmed that the coach had been directed not to give any statement to the media without taking prior approval from the PFF.

“We have issued him strict directives that he should not unveil anything about the activities of the national team ahead of any international commitment,” Lodhi told this correspondent. “This is not Serbia and we have told him to be careful in future,” Lodhi said.

The PFF took the step after ‘The News’ published an exclusive report a few days ago about the final squad for the Singapore tour.

The PFF officials were asked by the reporters at a press briefing why they were invited when the squad names had already been published.

In order to shield their own mistakes and unprofessional approach the PFF took the decision to ban Zavisa from giving any statement to the media.

The PFF always discloses the final squad for any international event just a few hours ahead of the team’s departure.

In this age of fast communication, it is not difficult to get formal approval of the final squad from the PFF president soon after the coach finalises it.

The question is who should be contacted if not Zavisa. The top officials of the PFF don’t know much about football. They don’t even know the names of the players.

Moreover, the coach is the ultimate authority who prepares plans for international events. The PFF officials did not even know about the arrival schedule of the Hong Kong based defender Zeeshan Rehman and England-based left-back Shabbir Khan in Singapore ahead of the FIFA friendly on November 19.

Ban on Zavisa is ironic as the PFF had given him all powers when it signed him on November 5 last year. The Serbian also serves as manager during the international events.

Source: The News