[QODLink]
Football

Pakistan hope to revive fortunes

Bahrain 'donate' new coach Mohammed Shamlan as under-performing Pakistan prepare for the Asian Football Federation Cup.

Last Modified: 22 Aug 2013 16:10
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Pakistan were defeated by Afghanistan mid-week in the first international match in Kabul for ten years [AFP]

Pakistan appointed Bahrain's Mohammed Shamlan as their new coach on Thursday to change the dwindling fortunes of their national team which lost to neighbouring Afghanistan in a historic match this week.

Shamlan - who has been donated by Bahrain free of charge - will replace Pakistan's Serbian coach Zavisa Milosavljevic who is to be released after his two-year contract expires in November.

Pakistan's preparations for this month's South Asian Football Federation Cup (SAFF) were badly hit after a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Afghanistan, their first match in the war-ravaged country since 1977.

'Gift'

Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) secretary Ahmed Yar Lodhi said Shamlan is a gift to Pakistan from Bahrain.

"Since Bahrain is a friendly country and PFF has good relations with Bahrain's federation, we have been given their coach free of cost," Lodhi said at a press conference.

Pakistan will face arch-rivals India in their opening match of the SAFF Cup to be held in Nepal from August 31-September 11.

Besides Pakistan and India, Bangladesh and Nepal are in pool A, while Afghanistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bhutan are placed in pool B.

Pakistan has had various foreign coaches but it was only Bahrain's Salman Sharida who lifted the standard of the team in 2005 and 2006.

Shamlan, who acted as deputy to Sharida during his Pakistan stint, said he will do his best to improve the team.

"When I was here a few years back I was able to get close to the players. I know them and will try to improve their rankings," said Shamlan.

Pakistan were a major force at the Asian level in the 1950s and 60s but lack of government support and facilities has resulted in the team slumping badly.

They are currently ranked as low as 167 in the FIFA rankings.

326

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Indonesia's digerati could be crucial to success in the country's upcoming presidential election.
How Brazil's football legend turned every Corinthians' match into a political meeting for democracy.
As the Pakistani army battles Taliban forces, civilians in North Waziristan face an arduous escape for relative safety.
Nepalese trade in a libido-boosting fungus is booming but experts warn over-exploitation could destroy ecosystem.
Featured
Israel's strategy in Gaza remains uncertain, as internal politics are at play for PM Netanyahu.
Greece is holding as many as 6,000 migrants in detention centres, in conditions that have been called appalling.
Long derided for trivialising women, Bollywood is shrugging off its trademark social apathy by upping anti-rape crusade.
Survey of more than 300 colleges shows 40 percent do; highlights lack of training for administrators, law enforcement.
Three years after independence, South Sudan still struggles to escape poverty and conflict.
join our mailing list