International organisation plans to develop football in Pakistan [Dawn]

International organisation plans to develop football in Pakistan [Dawn]

KARACHI: An alliance of specialist football organisations from the UK, Aspirations All-Pakistan Football Alliance (APFA), announced on Thursday it will launch its operations to serve the game in Pakistan.

Led by Majid Shafiq, who has developed coaches and players in nine different sports in Europe, APFA says it is on a “mission to bring football players, coaches and clubs in Pakistan to an elite level through its projects both in Europe and South Asia”.

APFA was conceived several years ago and has been supporting Asian-origin footballers to progress into professional football before formally launching itself in January this year.

“APFA and Majid took an empathetic look at the state of affairs for footballers and coaches in Pakistan,” it said in a news release on Thursday.

“It came to his realisation that more than a kick-start is needed in Pakistan and in fact a fresh start because of the visible habits that include poor knowledge and understanding, a lack of real desire to develop coaches and players to get to a world level. A technical and intellectual focus is a must.”

In its first step, APFA is planning to launch its ‘Elite Football Academy’ and the first will open in Rawalpindi and Islamabad at a brand new complex shared with a partnering club Popo FC which will initially cater to players from ages 10-25 before beginning programmes for players aged 4-12.