KARACHI: Pakistan’s football coach Zavisa Milosavljevic, already disappointed by his players’ inability to score, now rues the mismanagement at the Al-Nakba International Tournament being held in Palestine that has seen schedules changed late in the day.
Milosavjlevic wanted his team to get enough practice ahead of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-22 Championship qualifiers in Saudi Arabia next month but, according to him, the inconveniences on the tour are affecting his team badly.
The Palestinian Football Federation changed the draws of the tournament yesterday after Uzbekistan failed to reach Nablus which resulted in Pakistan being moved from group C to group A, playing only two matches instead of three. They face Vietnam today followed by a match against Palestine on May 18.
“I’m disappointed that we’d be playing just two matches in the first round,” Milosavljevic told The Express Tribune. “We wanted as much match practice as possible. Our first opponents, Vietnam, have sent their under-19 team and I’m still trying to see how helpful that can be for us. Before coming here, we had no idea about which teams would be participating and what the level of competition was. Mind you, I’m still trying to figure that out.”
Meanwhile, the coach also complained about the state of the pitches, failing to be an improvement from the standards found in Pakistan.
“Vietnam will be a good side, their players have good technique. But the pitch and the weather also play a part. It’s very hot here and the matches will be played under lights which will be an experience for my team. We can only gauge where we stand after the first match.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2012.
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