The UK Cypriot behind Pakistan’s biggest ever game that takes place today

One of the reasons Pakistan is happy to look to the UK for players is because their manager is UK Cypriot Stephen Constantine.
He is known as one of the most accomplished football coaches in Asia – having managed seven national teams, including India twice, in a 20-year career.
“The difference with India, for example, is they have the Indian Super League,” he says.
“Players here are struggling to get regular games or even training.
“The diaspora players do but we’re not at a stage yet where we’ll have 11 players playing abroad.”
Stephen Constantine stood on the side of a football pitch. He is a bald man with stubble for a beard and moustache and is wearing a black jacket with the badge of a Cypriot club side on it.

Stephen Constantine has managed several national sides as well as some clubs in Cyprus
Pakistan are now in a group with Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan in their bid to qualify for the 2026 World Cup.
Stephen recently told BBC Sport managing them will be his “hardest challenge” yet, but he is confident he can find the players to build on their historic win.
“I do have a list of all the players who could play for us and I’m going to travel the world to see them,” he says.
“There is talent here like there is in every country. It’s just a case of developing it and going out to find them.”
And British players like Harun are well aware of what a big opportunity they have been given.
“It’s putting ourselves on the biggest stage. This is what we need to grow as a footballing nation, this is just the start for us hopefully.”

Michael Yiakoumi

Michael Yiakoumi

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