The Pakistan Football Federation faced a tirade of question at their press conference in Karachi, where they were unable to give justifiable answers to the present media.
“Well, Faisal Saleh Hayat is a political figure with many responsibilities on his shoulders, so I, as the first PFF paid secretary am here speak to you on his behalf,” said PFF Secretary Ahmed Yar Lodhi after being questioned by reporters to why the president
was not with them.
“About the 7—a-side Girls Youth Football School Championship, the final of which is being played here today, I think Sadia Shaikh, who is organising it, will be in a better position to tell you what that is all about,” he added.
The official pointed to Sadia, who in turn replied”
“Don’t ask me, ask my colleagues her.”
Not wasting time, the PFF Secretary moved and revealed that they had been working hard to improve Pakistan’s ranking.
“Pakistan’s national team is placed 30th in Asia at the moment. And what we are looking to do is at least bring our team up to number 15.”
“We are well aware that this is not an easy thing to do. We are aiming quite high but we have to do this if we ever want to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.”
“The boys playing U-13 football today are our assets and we want to groom them well. When the current PFF management took charge, our junior team was losing by huge margins on the international level. But our hard work with these boys has enabled the junior
team to come second and third in the AFC football festivals held in Iran in 2010 and 2011.”
“And then the U-16 outfit did the unimaginable by winning the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) U-16 Football Championship in Nepal in August 2011.”
“Today 90 per cent of the boys in our main U-22 team that is currently in Bahrain, preparing to take part in the AFC Under-22 Asian Championship 2013 Qualifiers Group ‘B’ to be held in Saudi Arabia from June 23 to July 3, are actually U-19 players.”
“Therefore, we are grateful to the ASC for joining hands with us in grooming our youth for future challenges. The ASC had sanctioned Rs1.5 million for boys’ football, and now we have requested them to contribute more funds for women’s football, too.”
He also added that the young players can’t often cope with the high demands at senior level and thus fizzle out.
“Well, playing at the youth level is quite different and basic than playing at the advanced level. That’s where some of the boys can’t cope and fall out of the race.”
“These kids need to excel at that level too but many are suffering from a psychological problem — they can’t see themselves play and win for Pakistan as part of the national team. We are working on helping them lose this inferiority complex. We have hired
a great foreign coach in Zavisa Milosavljevic and hope to see some results with him working with our national team,”
“The PFF is at a disadvantage when it comes to funds, but we are doing all that we can. Our annual budget in Rs50,00,000 [50 lac] and we are spending around Rs20 million per tournament, so you can imagine how hard it is for us,”
“You can expect the Goal Project to be completed by Feb 2013,” Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi was quoted as saying.