Pakistan in tough group, says Lutfi [The News]

Sports Reporter – The News

KARACHI: Former Pakistan football coach Tariq Lutfi said on Tuesday that Pakistan had been placed in a tough pool in the SAFF Cup 2013.

“Pakistan are in a tough pool and it is likely that the champions will be from this group,” he told ‘The News’.

“Being hosts Nepal will definitely have an advantage while Bangladesh are also a good side. India have a strong history in the championship and are also the defending champions,” said Lutfi.

However, he was quick to add that it was good to see Pakistan playing their first game against India. “You know it’s good for Pakistan to start their journey with the match against India as in the first game normally the teams don’t play outstandingly and always remain careful and it will favour Pakistan,” Lutfi said.

He said that psychologically Indian players are always afraid of Pakistan team.

Pakistan will be going to Bangladesh and Afghanistan for playing international friendlies ahead of the SAFF Cup but Lutfi said that it was not a good move to play against the South Asian countries in practice matches.

“It’s not a good move to play practice games against the teams who will also compete in the SAFF Cup. Pakistan should have played against clubs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or any other country,” he said.

“I think even Bangladesh will not field their top team against Pakistan,” Lutfi said.

He said that Pakistan should perform well in the spectacle. “I think this is a good opportunity for Pakistan to perform as Zavisa has been associated with the team for around two years and his charges have got enough international exposure, so there should be some results now,” said Lutfi, also the coach of KRL, the Premier League top team.