LAHORE - Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) president Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat has announced that Brazilian coach Jose Antonio Nogueira will train the national football team.

Speaking at the press conference held here at the PFF Headquarters on Sunday, Faisal said: “Pakistan football team will be looked after by renowned and well-experienced Brazilian coach Jose Antonio Nogueira, who will serve the national team for 3 years while our close friend Bahrain will assist us in paying the hefty amount of his salary.”

The PFF chief further announced that the daily allowance of Pakistan football players have been enhanced for international matches. “The daily allowance of Pakistani team players has also been doubled from $100 to $200 while the daily allowance of officials has also been increased.”

He said that the PFF is keen to promote the game at grassroots level. “The PFF will continue its efforts to hunt fresh talent and for this purpose, it has decided to support the districts directly by giving them funds for the betterment of districts’ leagues so that they may provide promising players to the federation, who may be groomed well for the national team and win laurels for the country.”

Faisal said that like men team, the PFF is also keen to promote women football. “The PFF has never ignored women football development and in this regard, we are already in deliberations with Japan to provide us female coach on gratis basis,” he added.

The PFF president said before going into Asian Games and AFC Championship, the national team will be provided opportunity to play four international friendly matches after a half-month training camp while the federation is also trying to arrange an international friendly with Afghanistan team.

He once again thanked FIFA, AFC and SAFF for supporting the PFF’s constitutional body for the last three years. Talking about football infrastructure development in Pakistan, he disclosed that the PFF has already requested FIFA for two more goal projects, one for Lyari and the other for Chamman, both of which are football hubs. He said two more FIFA goal projects have also been requested, one for Punjab and another for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Faisal said a collective huge amount of FIFA Forward Programme of USD4.3million will also be provided to PFF, which the federation could not receive due to the stoppage of football in Pakistan in the last three years, which will help PFF in bringing a potential positive change in the Pakistan football.

He said that total prize money of National Challenge Cup has been increased by 500 times from Rs 500,000 to Rs 2.55 million. “The National Challenge Cup will help in marking talented players for building the national team to take part in Asian Games and AFC Championship.”

Punjab Football Association (PFA) president Sardar Naveed Haider Khan announced that out of 36 districts of Punjab, representatives of 27 districts were present during the meeting. “Such a huge representation of Punjab officials is good enough to show their confidence in me as PFA president and in Faisal Saleh Hayat as PFF chief. We will never disappoint them and try our best to provide the best facilities so that the game may flourish in such remote areas as well.”