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January 16, 2011

Lutfi appointed Pakistan coach


January 16, 2011


KARACHI: After failing to acquire the services of a foreign coach due to financial reasons, the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) on Saturday appointed Tariq Lutfi as head coach of the national team for a year.
“Our priority was a foreign coach but we have no funds for that. This year is full of activities for Pakistan and we needed an experienced coach and after taking input from all the stakeholders we decided to give the experienced Tariq Lutfi the chance to take over as national coach for one year,” PFF president Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat told ‘The News’ from Lahore on Saturday.
“As per our system, we will give full authority to the coach and he will not only be authorised to pick his support staff but will also have the full right to bring in players which he needs more,” Faisal, who was recently elected as a member of the AFC Executive Committee, said.
The 59-year-old Lutfi served as head coach of the national team from 1985-2005 and took Pakistan to gold medal success in the 1991 Colombo South Asian Games and 2004 Islamabad South Asian Games.
Pakistan have tough assignments this year in the shape of Olympic qualifiers, a training tour to Thailand, a home and away series with Palestine, AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers, World Cup qualifiers and most probably the SAFF Championship in India.
After George Kottan left the hotseat at the end of the South Asian Games in Bangladesh early last year, Pakistan appointed Akhtar Mohiuddin as head coach for the Asian Games held in November last year.
In spite of handling the team positively at the Asian Games, Akhtar failed to retain the seat since most of the stakeholders were not in his favour.
The PFF chief is optimistic that Tariq will yield good results as a coach.
“Tariq has a lot of experience and I hope that he will not disappoint us,” Faisal said.
Tariq will be seen in action on Monday when the team’s camp will start in Lahore for the first round of Olympic qualifiers

against Malaysia. Pakistan will face Malaysia in the away leg in Kuala Lumpur on February 23 while in return leg both the teams will lock horns on March 9 in Pakistan for which the venue is yet to be decided.




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