‘SAFF win has put us under pressure’

National football coach wants team to emulate gold feat in UK.

Natasha Raheel August 13, 2011


Pakistan’s football coach Tariq Lutfi has said that the under-16 side’s triumphant Saff Championship campaign that was sealed by a win over India in the final has put a lot of pressure on his squad that is due to take on the Indian U-21 on their UK tour from August 29.

With a Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) camp for the series starting on August 19, Lutfi confirmed that the federation has decided to send an U-21 squad to the UK instead of the senior side after the juniors’ performance forced the federation to invest in youth.

“It’s a really encouraging sight to see the under -16 team doing so well in the Saff championship but it has put a lot of pressure on the national squad to beat India in the two-match series,” Lutfi told The Express Tribune. “Since the youngsters have defeated the Indian team in the final, it has set a difficult precedent for my team and now they have to beat India and win the series in the UK. There is a lot of pressure on the players from the fans and the federation.”

Meanwhile, Lutfi also confirmed that he is looking to include five or six UK-based footballers in the squad in order to balance the side against India who are a stronger side compared to Pakistan. He said that players like Atif Basheer, Adnan Farooq, Hasan Bashir and Nabeel Aslam will make a huge difference to the squad as they have been playing for different English clubs and are not only accustomed to the conditions but have a lot of experience as well.

According to the PFF, Pakistan will play two matches with India on September 3 and September 9 before taking on two local clubs.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2011.


Karim Javed | 12 years ago | Reply

Now its time to take some rest you oldies. Bring some young blood even in big clubs like Barcelona and Manchester they reserve their players at the age of 14. Because that's the age in which a kid get polished for his future.

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ