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August 13, 2020

PVF expected to strike deal with Iranian coach


August 13, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan Volleyball Federation (PVF) is expected to strike a deal with an Iranian coach in near future.

“Yes, we are in contact with an Iranian coach. We want to hire his services until the 14th South Asian Games which will be hosted by Pakistan,” a senior official of the PVF told ‘The News’ on Wednesday.

“He is yet to reveal his demand. We are working on different matters,” the official was quick to add.

Iranian coaches have been very productive for Pakistan over the years. Under Iranian coach Ali Reza Moameri, over a decade ago, Pakistan claimed bronze medal for the first time in the Asian Junior Championship history, a landmark achievement.

From 2017 until 2019 Iranian coach Hamid Movahedi also worked as Pakistan coach. He also wrote his name in golden words in Pakistan’s volleyball history as he was the first coach who formed a youth team and worked very hard with that along with the juniors.

Hamid gave a new look to Pakistan volleyball which had been played under an outdated system.

After Movahedi, a Korean coach was hired who served the country until the Asian Championship held in Tehran last year. A senior official of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) told this correspondent in an interview a few months ago that every effort would be made to help federations hire the services of foreign coaches ahead of the South Asian Games. However, it is not yet confirmed whether the Board will back the PVF in hiring of a foreign coach.

The PVF official also disclosed that the federation plans to hold camps for continental age-group events to be held early next year. “The government is yet to open volleyball facilities although it has announced lifting restrictions from non-contact sports activities. We want to hold the camps of our young sides which will be featuring in the next year’s continental events,” the official said.

“I plan to meet with the state authorities and hopefully the camp and its related issues will be discussed with them,” the official said.

Pakistan will feature in the 13th Men’s Asian Under-19 Championship from January 9-16, 2021, in Shiraz, Iran. This event will serve as qualifiers for the 2021 men’s World Championship.

Pakistan will then participate in the 20th Asian Men’s Under-21 Championship from February 20-27, 2021, in Tehran.

This is also a qualifying round for the 2021 Men’s World Championship to be held in Tehran.

“If we are not able to hold these camps early then by October every effort will be made to hold them,” the official said.

The above events were scheduled this summer but could not be held due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, there is no international event for the senior team in the next few months and its camp will be planned later.

“There was an Asian event for the top eight teams of Asia but that has been cancelled,” the official said when asked about the camp for the senior team.

A few days ago Pakistan volleyball team captain Aimal Khan told this correspondent that the PVF should hold a two-month camp for the senior team so that the players could work on their fitness and regain their rhythm.

The 21st Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship is pencilled in for September 12-19, 2021, in Japan.

It has been learnt that the biggest issue Pakistan volleyball is facing is the lack of indoor halls. There is only one indoor volleyball hall and that is Liaquat Gymnasium in Islamabad but this correspondent has learnt that it needs renovation. It also lacks cooling system. Pakistan team during the last couple of years or so practised at Hamidi Hall in the federal capital which does not meet international standard and is quite small.