Want to Become a Football Manager in Pakistan? Here’s the Non-Existent Roadmap

Football coach education is currently non-existent in Pakistan and it is an alien concept to many stakeholders of football in the country.

However, despite the challenges former Pakistan football coach Shahzad Anwar has provided a roadmap of how to become a coach in the country which is ranked 196th in the FIFA world rankings.

In a podcast with ProSports, the former men’s national team head coach recounted that no coaching program had taken place in the country since 2015.

“The last ‘A-License’ coaching course that was conducted by the PFF in 2015 was also the first one and since then there has been no coaching program, courses, or education in the country. Coaches who can afford the courses outside the country can travel abroad but what about those coaches who cannot afford it?? I think it is important that PFF conducts its coaching courses.”

Shahzad Anwar is currently the only coach in the country who has an AFC Pro License coaching badge and has coaching experience of more than 25 years under his belt.

Expressing his concerns over the lack of coaching education in Pakistan, the Popo FC head coach said, “It takes almost 10-12 years to complete the coaching badges and acquire the AFC Pro or UEFA Pro License.

“Our coaches who acquired the AFC A License in 2015 could not get any experience following their coaching education because there was no domestic football taking place during that time in the country.”

“If domestic football had been taking place regularly in the country they would’ve gotten the practical experience required to elevate themselves as coaches and fulfill the demands of international football but they never got that experience because they had no competition to play in and they had no teams.”

Anwar is currently managing the Pakistan Airforce department in the National Challenge Cup which consists of national team centre-backs such as Mamoon Musa Khan and Haseeb Khan.

The former technical director of PFF said that the Bangladesh Football Federation has introductory coaching courses that they conduct every year whereas the All India Football Federation also organizes a D-License coaching badge program at an introductory level.

Previously, in a podcast, Karachi United head coach Sheikh Hamdan said that the Pakistan Football Federation conducted a D-License in 2019 which was an introductory course for football coaches in Pakistan.

Indian federation also conducts its own D-License following which the football coaches in India can apply for the AFC-C License coaching badge.

The ‘C’ License can further propel the coach to the AFC B License, AFC-A License, and finally AFC Pro License the process to acquire the UEFA Pro License is the same but it is more expensive than the AFC with a higher difficulty level.

AFC License and UEFA License are two different paths to acquire a coaching Pro License, before applying the coach has to choose a route, it is similar to an 8th-grade student trying to choose between Matric System and O Levels in Pakistan’s education system.

In Pakistan most coaches choose the AFC License route as it is much cheaper than the UEFA License, the further the coach goes up the ladder in terms of coaching badge, the more he gets recommendations from top coaches.

It is similar to acquiring the degree of Ph.D. in the field of football, however, in Pakistan it is really difficult to acquire the resources to achieve that degree.

Unfortunately for the aspiring football managers in the country, it is a tough task to reach the top without a proper roadmap.

Published by
Shayan Obaid Alexander