Pakistan makes it to the FIFA Football World Cup

Posted on June 15, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Economy & Development, Sports
10 Comments
Total Views: 29028

Adil Najam

Not really. But even so, yes it does. Or, at least the footballs made in Pakistan do.

As the German Ambassador to Pakistan, Dr. Gunter Mulack, recently told a press conference in Islamabad: “Pakistan will almost be in every match through their footballs.” The official football used in all games of the 2006 FIFA Football World Cup will come from Pakistan (Sialkot, to be exact).

According to a report in FootballPakistan.com, as of early June Sialkot has exported over 55.8 million footballs worth more than Rs 8.5 billion, this year. And over 40 million balls worth US $ 210 million are produced annually, employing some 60,000 men and women in Sialkot. According to this wesite, at least, over 85 percent of the total production of soccer balls in the world comes from Sialkot (can anyone confirm this, please).

Football, of course, is played widely in Pakistan but is not really a sport that ignites the nation’s passions. Pakistan is ranked No. 153 in world football rankings. While it may have no effect on the country’s performance on the field, the games popularity in Pakistan is certainly getting a boost from the 2006 World Cup–especially becasue Pakistan Television (PTV) is telecasting 64 matches live from Germany.

My thanks to the blog Light Within for alerting me to this.

10 responses to “Pakistan makes it to the FIFA Football World Cup”

  1. Khalid says:

    I agree . This number is wrong. But we export lot of footballs

  2. Aslam says:

    I dont think the numbers are right. 85 percent of footballs could not possibly come from Sialkot since there are many other producing markets too

  3. iFaqeer says:

    My impression (I was born, or least “hosh samhaala”, afterwards) is that in the first part of our history, when Bangladesh and Pakistan were one, the country was an Asian powerhouse of the game. Bengal, of course, has always had a rich soccer history. (Which makes Bangladesh and India’s absence from the competitive level of the game pretty incomprehensible and maddening, but that’s for another time.) But even today, I feel the only part of the country that doesn’t get it, so to speak, is the establishment–the media, the government, the bureaucracy…

  4. Shirazi says:

    Thanks for this plugin.

  5. Malik says:

    An interesting link to the story about FIFA and football manufacturing in Pakistan.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5071040.stm

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