Pakistan could tour Thailand this month
Sunday, June 07, 2009 By Alam Zeb Safi KARACHI:
The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) plans to arrange a foreign tour for the senior team, most probably to Thailand, at the end of this month, a top official of the PFF told ‘The News’ on Saturday. The secretary of the PFF Col Ahmad Yar Khan Lodhi said that he has contacted the football authorities of Thailand and Iran during the annual Congress meeting of the world football governing body (FIFA) held in North American state of Bahamas the other day and hopefully the federation would be able to convince them to host Pakistan for a ten-day tour.
“Thailand have almost agreed to our proposal but it is not yet confirmed as we are trying to formally make correspondence with them and are writing to them tomorrow (Monday) and I am hopeful that a tour would be arranged by the end of this month, or in the beginning of July,” Lodhi said.
The PFF is trying to arrange the tour according to the wishes of the coach George Kottan who is currently imparting training to the 23 top ranking footballers at the Punjab Stadium in Lahore. Out of the 23-member squad currently busy in the camp only ten players are such who had featured in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup Qualifiers held in Colombo in April this year while the rest are those who have been specifically picked up by the Austrian coach during the National Challenge Cup held at Hyderabad in April. Kottan is trying to groom players for the future. Kottan had told
The News the other day during an interview that foreign tours are very important and added that he had told the PFF to arrange a trip or two in the near future so that the standard of the team could be boosted. “For raising the standard of the team top class competitions are indispensable and I am looking for that. The players learn through exposure and it is indispensable for developing a side,” the 62-year old coach said. Though the current camp in Lahore serves as a refresher course for those already tested in international circuit, but it is a real trial for those who are yet unknown to the coach George Kottan.
Though originally the camp was planned for 14 days but if a foreign tour is arranged within few days it would then continue till the departure of the team for the expected series. “Hopefully, everything about the tour would be made final within the next ten or twelve days. If the tour is managed the camp would continue, and if not, it could then be winded up after the coach completes his job,” the PFF secretary said.
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