Can a foreign coach solve Pakistan’s football woes?

The year that promised so much for the beautiful game in Pakistan has so far been a usually lethargic and disappointing one. From the failure to qualify for the AFC Challenge Cup to bowing out of the World Cup qualification rounds, Tariq Lutfi’s antics have
angered a whole nation.

Lutfi, the self-proclaimed ‘God Father of Pakistani Football’, took charge of the National team this year during the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers. It was an ominous sign that reflected on how the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) used failed trainers again
and again.

While the football fraternity called for a change in the managerial department, the PFF paid no heed and appointed Lutfi after citing that he was the best choice under the circumstances.

A solitary win against Chinese Taipei, that too in a dead-rubber tie, is what the former PIA boss has served up in his tenure. However that does not highlight the issues what really anger the Pakistani fans.

The manager refused to call BK Glostrup Albertslund shot stopper Yousuf Butt, who was highly impressive during his outings in the U-23 setup. He also failed to pick Rizwan Asif, a player who earned numerous accolades for his performances earlier.

While the blame can be placed squarely on Lutfi for the current scenario, the Pakistan National team finds itself in; the question is that can the country move forward with the recruitment of a foreign coach in-charge.

Reports link a Serbian coach with the job and allegedly the PFF have also agreed to acquire his services on a one-year deal worth 10 million rupees.

The federation have always allowed foreigners to work on their own without any interruption and it could be the change, which all supporters across the country crave.

If the trainer is allowed to choose players based on merit, not only will the quality of the squad dramatically improve but it could also place us in contention for a good showing in the upcoming SAFF Cup.

Although not identified yet, the coach from Serbia could well be the saviour of the game in Pakistan, even without his own knowledge.