Alam Zeb Safi – The News
KARACHI: Only two out of five Pakistani coaches have passed the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Licence A coaching course, which they took in Bahrain in April, sources told ‘The News’ on Tuesday.
Former Pakistan coach Akhtar Mohiuddin and Mohammad Habib have cleared the course.
Pakistan team’s current assistant coach Hasan Baloch and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited’s (ZTBL) coach Najeebullah Najmi have failed to clear one of their two theory papers. The two managed to pass their practical examinations though.
Hasan is the only one of the five to have passed all his three practical exams.
But the most unfortunate casualty has been the failure of prominent coach Sajjad Mehmood, who according to sources passed his two papers of theory but failed in the practical exams.
Sajjad serves as assistant coach of the Premier League champions Khan Research Laboratories (KRL). He shot to fame when under his coaching Pakistan won the crown of the inaugural Under-16 SAFF Cup in Nepal in 2011, beating India in a historic final.
Hasan was also in the support staff of Sajjad.
Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi confirmed the result. “Yes, two have passed while two have failed in one of their theory papers. Sajjad has failed,” Lodhi said.
However, he was not happy with the result. “I must say that the overall result is too bad. Sajjad should have passed it,” Lodhi said.
He was quick to add that effort would be made to give Sajjad another chance in future.
Akhtar had got his coaching diploma from Germany which was declared equivalent by the AFC to Licence B. He is the most experienced coach, having worked as Pakistan head coach in the 2010 Asian Games, the 2008 SAFF Cup, the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers and the 2007 World Cup Qualifiers.
Habib served as coach of Lyallpur FC of Faisalabad in the Premier League last season. He has also been associated with the national age-group outfits.
In the Licence A course, there are two papers of theory covering general and specific subjects. These papers are compulsory and if a coach fails one of these, he is considered to have failed.
Similarly, out of three practical exams, a coach must get through at least two.
Hasan and Najmi will have to retake the papers they failed in in the next chance, while Sajjad will have to attend the course once again.
Sources also said that none of the Pakistani coaches ended in the top three out of 24 candidates from various nations.
The course was held in Bahrain from March 31 to May 1. Pakistan team’s Bahraini coach Mohammed Shamlan played his role in getting five Pakistani coaches seats in the course.
Being Director Technical of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), Shamlan wants a healthy pool of Licence A coaches in the country.
Nasir Ismail and Shehzad Anwar were the first in Pakistan to get the A Licences after they attended a similar course in Colombo in 2008. Nasir topped that course, while Shehzad ended third.
With the success of Akhtar and Habib, the pool of Licence A coaches in the country has swelled to six.
Former Pakistan coach Tariq Lutfi and Siddique Sheikh are the other two Licence A coaches.
“It would have been much better had all these five coaches got through,” Nasir Ismail said.
Pakistan has no pro-licence holder.
Shehzad Anwar from Sargodha will be the first to get this licence as he recently attended the first module of the pro-licence in Kuala Lumpur.