Kaleemullah, who led the national team to the series win with a better goal average in Bangalore, said that after receiving the prize money the players are now taking football seriously.
“Now our players know what it feels like to be winners,” Kaleemullah told The Express Tribune.
“The PFF has been very encouraging, and this has not only motivated us but has also raised the stakes for better performance. Besides the monetary aspect, the president is also asking for suggestions from the players, which has boosted our morale.
“The coaches make sure that the team is on the same page. Bringing money into the picture just made everyone take football more seriously.”
The PFF gave away an additional Rs1.5m to the individual players and coaching officials.
Kaleemullah, along with Saddam Hussain and goalie Muzammil Hussain, received an additional Rs200,000 for their outstanding performances during the India and Bahrain tour.
Former Pakistan player Arif Mehmood believes that providing monetary incentives will have long-term benefits.
“Now every player would want to go the extra mile individually and as a unit in the international matches, even in the upcoming Asian Games,” said Mehmood.
PFF Secretary Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi said that motivating the team is necessary to get better results.
“Money makes a difference,” said Lodhi. “The prize money was a gesture to let the players and the coaches know that the federation cares and if they get us good results, they will be rewarded.”
Lodhi further emphasised that Pakistan football is in a good phase.
“Pakistan footballers are now seeing opportunities for themselves,” commented Lodhi. “Kaleemullah, Saddam and Muhammad Adil are now playing for international clubs, which is motivating other players to reach the same level.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2014.