KARACHI (PPI): Brazilian football Coach Romildo Sanchez arrived here on Tuesday on a 10-day visit to train young footballers and football coaches in Pakistan.
The US-based Brazilian has been invited by the Foundation United Soccer Academy, which works under the Foundation Public School.
Sanchez was greeted by a group of football coaches at the local hotel in Karachi before he spoke to media and vowed to help Pakistan find more talent in football.
“I believe Pakistan is on right path to become a power nation in soccer. In fact today when we were driving from the airport I saw people playing football on one side of the road and cricket on the other side. So, I understand that football is growing here,” he said while talking to media.
Sanchez, who is also the director of Players’ Club of Tampa Bay, said that watching footballers play on streets of Karachi reminded him of his days as a kid growing up in Brazil, where things were not too different.
“I grew up in Brazil playing on streets,” he said adding that those who grow up playing on streets become better players as they play the game without any fear.
“It’s the development phase, the learning phase, on streets. You play without pressure, you play for fun on streets with smile on face,” he said.
“All they need to do is polish their talent,” he added.
During the 10-day tour, Sanchez will hold football coaching camps at different schools and will also supervise training sessions for local coaches along with sessions with special kids and street child football team.
“Mr Romildo is here to train our students and kids. He’ll also be conducting sessions with coaches and with special children and street kids. He’ll also go to Hyderabad and coach the Hyderabad football academy,” said Murad Hussain, an official of Foundation United Football Academy.
Sanchez said that he’s aware of the things going on at the helm of affairs in Pakistan’s football, calling the situation very disappointing. He emphasised that all the stakeholders need to sit together and work for the betterment of football in the country.
“I am aware that FIFA has given Pakistan a deadline to figure out who is head of the federation,” he said.
“Problems at the federation need to be solved first, and groups need to come together because when you work together, football wins, country wins,” he added.
When asked, Sanchez said that for the growth of football all stakeholders will have to play their role, and more importantly a professional league should be formed for the players in Pakistan.
“The development phase needs you to have a good league to play. It takes a lot of efforts, not only from coaches but also the government needs to step in and do its job by building stadium and so on. The talent is there, but it needs to be developed. In order to be developed, you need to play competitive leagues in football,” he said.
He added that investing in football can change football’s fortune for Pakistan and people must think about it.
“It is a combination of business getting involved, government getting involved by building stadiums, leagues being formed; bringing professional players is key to promote football in the country,” he said.