M Wasim recently caught up with the Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat - the man trying to develop football in Pakistan...As the President of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat took over the ruins of the Pakistani game in 2003 and since then Pakistan football has seen a sharp increase in football activities despite several controversies and deficiencies in the national set-up.
In a special chat with M. Wasim, he shares his views and even reveals that the national association is close to hire a foreign “high-level” coach for the national team.
“Our budget has always been limited and we have been handicapped. A good qualified coach will cost you around US $15000 a month. We either have choice to hire a coach or hold football activity therefore we go for the later”, Faisal said.
The President revealed thereafter that the national association is going to hire a foreign coach soon.
“Now the federal government has provided us Rs. 20 million grant and with this assistance we are able to hire a high-level foreign coach. We have short listed seven different coaches”
Known as a veteran politician in the country, Faisal has proved that he is equally good as a football administrator too.
He is capable of implementing his policies and but also handles his distracters and supporters in the same manner.
“Before me there was no football activity throughout the country. There was no interest of public in the game and therefore there was no activity in the game.
“We started the national Premier League, then started another the B Division championship, the under-21 and under-17 youth football. We hosted the AFC Challenge Cup, AFC President Cup and Indo-Pakistan series, at a time when there was security turmoil in the country.
"Pakistani expatriate footballers who play in the Europe came and represented Pakistan. These activities brought interest and international exposure both to Pakistan football.”
When he was reminded that much of his contributions were possible because of support of the FIFA, the President agreed.
“With the assistance of FIFA we started the Goal Projects. Initially there was only one Project in Lahore but after it’s completion the FIFA has awarded us two more Goal Projects for Peshawar and Karachi. The work on Peshawar is in progress while in Karachi the issue of land is finally resolved and work is just about to begin.”
The insecurity and poor law and order situation in Pakistan is alarming which has deprived the country from many sporting events. Football has suffered in the more troubled areas of the country. However, Faisal believes that with the promotion of the game there, the activities will come back soon.
His Vision “Football for Peace” is a new initiative about which he tells
“Actually we are living in a volatile region and areas like Balochistan and Frontier are affected by the ongoing law and order situation. But the people living there have great passion for football. This program will promote football in these regions. We would develop 20 academies; provide basic training and knowledge to the youngsters.
“The government is likely to support Football for Peace, while countries like Spain, Italy, USA and Australia have also offered their support.” Faisal added.