LAHORE: Pakistan football captain Jaffar Khan has urged the federation to devise a long-term strategy that can be implemented at the grass-root level.
Khan said that Pakistan were not doing justice to their talent and remained an under-achieving outfit. His comments follow the Pakistan under-16 team’s achievement in Nepal where the young brigade lifted the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) title and remained unbeaten in the event.
“What’s required is to build a strategy,” Khan told The Express Tribune. “We need to shift our focus to the grass-root level because there’s a significant amount of talent there.”
Khan was impressed with the way Pakistan played in Kathmandu and defeated India twice in the championship, including a 2-1 win in the final.
“They worked hard and they must be developed because they have the talent to take the senior team forward,” he added.
Pakistan, who achieved their best ranking of 165 in 1994, failed to qualify for the Asian Cup championship and the World Cup but have twice finished third at the Saff Championship and clinched the Merdeka Cup in 1962.
“We have the talent but we suffer because of a big gap between our domestic and international circuit,” added Khan. “Inconsistent coaching affected the team but now with Tariq Lutfi as the coach, the team is doing well.”
Khan also voiced Lutfi’s views and said that Pakistan needed international exposure to develop and improve.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2011.