KARACHI: The trip of Brazilian star Ronaldinho and other former super stars from strong football nations of the world to Pakistan later this week is indeed an event of the highest profile in Pakistan’s history.
That is why utmost care will be needed for the successful conduct of the tour, which will indeed help Pakistan, especially in the revival of international cricket.This correspondent has learnt that the tour would be handled by the military.
Sources close to the development told ‘The News’ on Sunday that the touring party would be provided proper security shield throughout its stay in Pakistan. Leisure Leagues is managing the tour of football legends who will play a couple of exhibition seven-a-side matches at Karachi and Lahore.
The sources said that special aircraft and bullet proof transport would be provided by Pakistan military.
Ronaldinho will be accompanied by his 2002 Brazil’s World Cup winning teammate Roberto Carlos, former French midfielder Robert Pires, France’s Nicolas Anelka, Portugal’s Luis Boa Morte, Holland’s George Boateng, England’s David James and former Manchester United player Ryan Giggs who has replaced former England and Chelsea captain John Terry who has pulled out due to personal reasons.
The sources said that before coming to Karachi the players would meet the Army Chief at the GHQ in Rawalpindi. Dates are not being mentioned in the story due to security reasons. The touring party will fly through special aircraft from Islamabad to Karachi.
After playing a game here at the Abdul Sattar Edhi Hockey Stadium the players will spend the night here and leave for Lahore for another showpiece which will involve former and current Pakistani players and the best crop of the Leisure Leagues Pakistan.
The announcement of the Pakistani players was expected at a function here late Sunday night. In Lahore the mega stars will visit historic places like Minar-e-Pakistan, Badshahi Masjid, and Lahore Museum.
The sources said that Ronaldinho and company would spend almost two days at the Punjab capital before leaving for Dubai through a special aircraft. The organisers have already put on sale the tickets for witnessing the high-profile football stars in action.