Shamlan confident of Pak football turnaround [The News]

Sports Correspondent – The News

KARACHI: Pakistan’s newly appointed football coach Mohammed Shamlan of Bahrain has said that he would put in his best to place Pakistan football team on the right path.

“You know the job is very challenging but I will work hard to improve the team and the country’s world ranking,” the seasoned tactician said at a press conference at the FIFA Football House in Lahore on Thursday.

He said that Pakistan was his second home as he had already worked with Salman Sharida in 2005-2006.

Shamlan has been appointed for a couple of years and he will be paid by the Bahrain Football Association (BFA).

Before joining Pakistan team he had been acting as assistant coach of the Bahrain national team with Argentinean Gabriel Cauldron.

Shamlan said that he was confident that he would be able to form a strong side. “A coach always wants to see speed, aggressiveness and discipline in his players and most of the Pakistani footballers have such qualities. I am optimistic that I will raise a very good national side,” the bulky former Bahrain player said.

Shamlan has been inducted into the national senior team’s coaching staff as an advisor after the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) axed Serbian coach Zavisa Milosavljevic because of his charges’ pathetic display in a friendly against Afghanistan in Kabul on Tuesday.

Shehzad will serve as head coach of the team.

It is expected that after the SAFF Cup Shamlan will accompany the Pakistan Under-19 team that will take part in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-19 Championship Qualifiers in Iraq in October.

Nasir Ismail has already been appointed as head coach of that team.

PFF secretary Col Ahmad Yar Khan Lodhi said that Bahrain made great sacrifice by giving one of their finest coaches to Pakistan. “In the current situation, when the contract with Zavisa was expiring in two months and we were looking for a new, more suitable head coach for our national team the relationship of the PFF chief Faisal Saleh Hayat with the president of the AFC and Bahrain Football Association (BFA) Sheikh Salman worked a lot,” Lodhi told the press conference.

He said the PFF would have Shamlan’s services for free, which would help the federation save millions of rupees which it would spend on youth development and women football.

Lodhi appealed to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Nawaz Sharif to take personal interest to remove the hurdles in holding of the AFC Under16 Championship Qualifiers which are to be held in Karachi in the last week of September.

He also said the event can be shifted to Lahore if the Punjab government helped the PFF in security matters.

Iran, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be featuring in the Group E qualifiers. The AFC has demanded the security clearance in writing but neither the Sindh government nor the Punjab nor the federal government has given any response.