by Syed Intikhab Ali
KARACHI: Well known football organisers Mohammed Zabe Khan, the CEO Global Soccer Ventures, and Shikoh Safvi, Director Government Relations, called on Governor Sindh Imran Ismail on Thursday and discussed the upcoming Pakistan Football League (PFL).
Informed sources said that the football organisers discussed the successful organisation of the first-ever professional football League in the country.
They sought federal and provincial governments’ help in this regard, the sources said.
The Governor appreciated the efforts of the organisers and assured them that the federal government would provide all possible support to them as football is one of the most popular games in the country after cricket.
The sources said that PFL would prove a big professional football league in the entire region. It would be modeled after the English Premier League (EPL), they added.
The organisers claim that the project has the backing of the EPL.
The sources said that the organisers did not want to disclose all the details at this stage. When all the planning and preparation was finalised, they would announce the details, they added.
They claimed that world’s great footballers would be part of this legue.
Wonderful football stadiums in the country would be the best part of this league, the sources said.
The Governor said that Pakistanis loved sports and were enthusiastic about such events.
The sources mentioned that the Global Soccer Ventures believe that there is unparallel football craze in Pakistan and there is need to bring that to the stadiums. It would be possible when world renowned footballers participated in the PFL, they added.
They said that the PFL would be launched in March next year.
Security institutions have promised best arrangements for the league.
They declined to disclose the names of the world famous footballers who are going to be part of the league.
It has to be mentioned that the group brought world renowned footballers, including Luis Figo, Ricardo Kaka, Carles Puyol and Nicolas Anelka, in 2017 and later in 2019.
Brazil’s Ronaldinho, former Manchester United stalwart Ryan Giggs, former England goalkeeper David James, Dutch star George Boateng, former French players Robert Pires and Nicolas Anelka, and Portuguese player Luis Boa Morte, were also brought for a couple of friendly matches in Karachi and Lahore.
The sources further said that Pakistan was a strong force in Asian football until the early 1970s, but a lack of government support and poor infrastructure meant the team dropped to as low as 200th in the FIFA rankings.
Samaa Sports’ Mir Shabbar Ali adds: