Lack of coordination the reason behind defeat: Nasir [The News]

Lack of coordination the reason behind defeat: Nasir [The News]

LAHORE: Former Pakistan assistant coach Nasir Ismail on Thursday said that lack of coordination was seen in Pakistan’s football team against Jordan in their 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers game.

“Lack of coordination was seen in the team as five successive passes were never seen at any stage of the game. They mostly played in their own zone and were quite defensive. They counter-attacked a little bit,” Nasir told The News after Pakistan went 3-0 down against Jordan at the Jinnah Stadium Islamabad on Thursday.

“Pakistan’s head coach Stephen Constantine’s strategy was to concede minimum goals and take chances on counter-attack,” he said. Nasir advised Constantine to force the PFF Normalisation Committee to hold a league of a few teams immediately after Ramadan so that he could get an opportunity to see home-grown talent which will help him divert his attention from the offshore players whom the country has been using.

“The local brand’s commitment is always more than the diaspora players. And I always say this,” Nasir was quick to add. “Overseas players may have an edge in skills over home-grown players but Pakistan’s local stuff’s aggression and commitment is more than the diaspora players,” Nasir said.

He said that Ramadan might have had an impact on both teams, especially Jordanian players who were not seen in their full physical and mental condition. “This is indeed a factor worth considering as fasting can affect performance, especially in a high-intensity sports,” Nasir said.

“I have highlighted the absence of proper long training camps and a domestic league in Pakistan for the past seven years. This can severely hinder the development of football in the country as players do not get sufficient opportunities to train, compete, and improve their skills,” Nasir said.

“I have already raised questions about the coach’s effectiveness, particularly if there is criticism regarding the national team’s performance and the utilisation of local talent. Coaches play a crucial role in developing a team’s strategy, tactics, and overall performance so it’s essential for them to understand the local context and work towards utilising available resources effectively,” said Nasir, also an AFC License A coach.

“We have various challenges and shortcomings within the Pakistan national football team, ranging from infrastructural issues to coaching decisions and team dynamics. Addressing these challenges will require concerted efforts from football administrators, coaches, players, and other stakeholders to improve the overall state of football in the country. This may involve investing in grassroots development programmes, reviving the domestic league, providing better training facilities, and ensuring that coaches are aligned with the long-term goals of the national team,” Nasir said.

Published in The News, 22 March 2024