Quetta, March 20, 2017: Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) Balochistan Football Cup 2017 ─ the country’s largest-ever sponsored football tournament ─ entered its final round on March 20 following conclusion of qualification round matches in six provincial divisions of Quetta, Kalat, Makran, Sibi, Zhob and Naseerabad. Nushki, Quetta City, Loralai, Sherani, Turbat, Panjgur, Kharan, Lasbela, Sibi and Jaffarabad emerged as the successful teams moving into the final round along with Quetta and Chaman, winner and runner-up of the 2016 tournament.
The final round kicked-off with an opening ceremony at Sadiq Shaheed Football Stadium (Malibagh), Quetta attended by Governor Balochistan, Muhammad Khan Achakzai as Chief Guest, MD & CEO PPL Syed Wamiq Bokhari and Chairman Organizing Committee PPL Balochistan Football Cup 2017, Sardar Naveed Haider Khan along with area notables, tournament ambassadors, media and other guests.
Addressing the gathering Bokhari said, “I am happy to share that 55 qualification round matches were completed peacefully with zeal, enthusiasm and support from players as well as local communities who witnessed these matches in large numbers. PPL Balochistan Football Cup 2017 is a substantially bigger tournament than the last year to engage local young talent from the grassroots to play their favourite sport. The company remains committed for the wellbeing of the people of Balochistan through our long-term CSR programme.”
Bokhari thanked the provincial government, Pakistan Football Federation, Balochistan Football Association and tournament ambassadors ─ Muhammad Essa Khan, Zahid Hameed, Saadullah, Sher Ali, Nasrullah Khan and Mehmood Ali ─ for their support and cooperation.
Speaking on the occasion, Achakzai applauded PPL and other partners for hosting a successful mega tournament for youth in Balochistan and playing their part towards bringing peace and prosperity in the province. He also wished the qualifying teams success in the final round.
PPL is providing attractive incentives and prizes for all teams playing at the district-level and final rounds as well as sports kit to all players, besides meeting other expenses, enabling optimum participation from all areas. The company has invested in rehabilitation of football grounds where the matches have been played.
The semi-finals will be played on March 31 and final on April 2 at Sadiq Shaheed Football Stadium (Malibagh), Quetta. A total of 74 matches will be played between 37 teams during the tournament.
Governor Balochistan, Muhammad Khan Achakzai as Chief Guest (first left) with MD & CEO PPL Syed Wamiq Bokhari (third right) declares open the final round of PPL Balochistan Football Cup 2017