KARACHI: Pakistan football team’s former assistant coach Nasir Ismail has said it was a huge setback that the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) did not give Pakistan any slot in the AFC Cup 2019.
“It’s really shocking that no team from Pakistan will be featuring in the 2019 AFC Cup due to club licensing issue,” he told ‘The News’ on Sunday.
He urged Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) to manage some other trip for the winners of the ongoing Premier League. “The PFF should try to give an alternative tour to the winners of the ongoing league as it will help them get some practice against tough foreign sides and gain experience,” Nasir said.
The AFC Cup draws were announced the other day and there was no club from Pakistan because no club of the country fulfills the AFC Club Licensing regulations. Nasir urged the PFF to take action against those who were responsible for the mishap.
“The PFF should take action against those whose laxity has deprived Pakistan of an AFC Cup slot,” said Nasir, who serves as National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) coach in the Premier League.
He said that in order to complete the club licensing process the PFF should meet all the stakeholders and give them one month time for fulfilling the requirements.
“Those departments that meet the requirements of club licensing should be included in the Premier League. The others should be limited to the knockout events like the National Challenge Cup,” he said.
Nasir, who has been critical of the existing football system, said that the AFC’s decision to deprive Pakistan of an AFC Cup slot pulled the spirit out of the current Premier League. “It has killed the excitement in the Premier League,” he said.
The PFF sent the entry of the National Challenge Cup winners for the AFC Cup in June but it was turned down by the continental body on the ground that the club had not fulfilled the licensing regulations.