President of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA)Lt Gen Arif Hassan believes that about 90 percent of sports activities can resume in the country in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Arif, it was time to prepare a comprehensive blueprint for the coming back of sports after taking all possible precautionary measures and urged the government to look into it. He believes that they can allow the resumption of almost 90 percent of sports activities in the country, step by step, by following proper guidelines and SOPs.
In March, the government launched a nation-wide lockdown with the aim of slowing down the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The government notification included a ban on all organized sports activities. In recent weeks, the authorities have eased the restrictions on various activities in order to lift the country’s sagging economy and the ban on sports activities hasn’t been reviewed.
The POA chief is of the opinion that the resumption of sports in the country could take place step by step by starting with sports which has a minimum risk of spreading the virus, such as bicycling. However, of course, it is necessary to take all the necessary precautions with proper SOPs in place and ensure that all athletes taking part in a competition are tested for the Covid-19 before giving them permission.
In many other countries in the world, the biggest problem when resuming major sports events is that the can only go ahead without spectators due to the Covid-19 situation. However, this isn’t a big problem for most sports events in Pakistan since only major cricket matches and a few other sports attract a large number of spectators.
Arif urged the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination, which governs Pakistan sports, to take the lead and prepare a plan for the resumption of sports activities in the country.
The Pakistan team is ranked 201 out of 206 members of the World Football Federation (FIFA) and has been banned from international competition for the past 3 years. This ban has greatly affected Pakistani football.
According to footballpakistan.com, even the fans of this
team are not confident about the chances of winning the Olympic Games in ASIAD
This page said that the Pakistan Olympic Games was in an
unhappy situation when it was in the same group with teams from Vietnam, Japan
However, with the format of ASIAD 2018, in which the two top teams in each group and 4 teams ranked third with the best performance will attend the round of 1/8, the Pakistani Olympic is expected to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament.
Leading the Pakistani Olympic team this time is Jose Antonio Nogueira – a coach who has over 20 years of experience in Brazil and Asia when leading clubs such as Nagoya Grampus Eight, Al Ahli, Portuguesa, Gremio Barueri, Emelec, etc.
Nogueira’s best record is the 1998 Ecuadorian championship
with Emelec and the Kings Cup (Saudia Arabia) with Al Ahli. The 52-year-old
strategist was recently appointed with a three-year contract to lead both the
national team and the Pakistani Olympic team.
Accompanying Nogueira at ASIAD 2018 is fellow country coach
Jose Beto Portella. The duo is praised by experts for their ability to improve
tactics, as well as the physical strength of the Pakistani teams, which have been
long focused and competing.
Speaking to the press, strategist Jose Antonio Nogueira
said: “I have learned many players of the Vietnamese Olympic Games. I know
this team brings Indonesia a very strong squad, with the core of the U23
players just won the Asian runner-up in the Asian League and three players over
the age of 23. This is a strong team in Group D as well as ASIAD, obviously we
will have a very difficult game coming. “
“Local officials occasionally throw money at football, swimming or weightlifting, but it just makes fun. They have no responsibility or effort. We are still waiting to see if sports are a priority for the new government or not”.
The government ignored sports, and the local did not want to invest in football. Pakistan Football Federation Secretary General (PFF) Mujahidullah Tareen said on the APP in early July 2018: “The Lyari district (Karachi city) has a lot of football talent, enough to form a national team. Local authorities don’t want to build a football field in Lyari. That’s why Pakistani football is behind.”
PFF is trying to change the situation. In May 2018, after being lifted by FIFA, they began the reconstruction work. PFF signed coach Jose Antonio Nogueira and assistant Jose Roberto Portella, in the hope of using latin to find talent. 60 domestic players were convened that month, leaving the Brazilian duo to select outstanding players for Asiad and South Asia. In the first two weeks, Mr. Nogueira stuffed his students physically – players who had not played professionally for three years.
Pakistan football is no longer frozen, players playing
abroad are also known to return to contribute to the team. After the filtering
period, coach Nogueira selected 28 players to come to Bahrain for training from
July 17 to July 30. They played four matches with the reserve team of clubs in
Bahrain with the result: winning two, drawing one, losing one.
The majority of current Pakistani players are selected from the National Cup a few months ago. But to achieve achievements, Pakistan still needs veterans to battle. Saddam Hussain midfielder Muhammad Ahmed and goalkeeper in Denmark – Yousuf Butt are likely to take three tickets out of 23 at Asiad. The pair of strikers Murtaza Hussain and Saad Ullah are also expected. Many pillars of Pakistan will gather more in the South Asia tournament after Asiad.
Pakistani football had peaked in the 1960s and 1970s. It was then that they were led by captain Abdul Ghafoor Majna – the nickname “Pele of Pakistan”. At that time, they were always in the top 10 of Asia, once knocking over the Soviet Union. But for many reasons, Pakistani football gradually descends. After stopping in the beginning of the World Cup qualifier against Yemen in March 2015, Pakistan received a ban from FIFA due to the government’s deep involvement in football.
When the Telstar ball at the World Cup 2018 was rolling, the football fields in Pakistan were just rubble. The Pakistan National Championship stagnated, the team fell to 201 FIFA. Football officials have set their sights on attending the 2026 World Cup finals, when the tournament has been expanded to 48 teams, but they have no specific plans.
In Pakistan, there are three million people playing
football, according to FIFA statistics. The country of 193 million people
cannot compete in the South Asian Championship, but they still dream about the
World Cup. Pakistan’s passion for soccer is undeniable. Movement matches
attract viewers no less the national prize. But the Pakistan government has no
plans to develop football in this country, as well as many other sports.
Cricket is the most popular sport in Pakistan. Their new
prime minister – Mr. Imran Khan – is the legend of this football. He was the
leader of the national team that won the 1992 World Cup, after beating England
in the final. Khan will try to invest in Pakistan’s football once again to the
top of the world, but the fate of football and other subjects remains open. A
few days after he took office, the hockey team went on strike. They refuse to
attend Asiad if they have not been paid for benefits for the past six months.
“The new government has not made any change yet. We,
Pakistani sports fans, want to give advice to the country to invest in football
and other subjects, not just wooden balls,” said the site manager.