Football is arguably the second most loved sport of Pakistan after Cricket. If there’s one thing you see Pakistani youth playing on grounds and streets other than cricket, it is Football.
But unlike cricket, football does not receive the generous attention of authorities to make it bigger and better in Pakistan. A lot of football enthusiasts are left to play on their own with very little professional facilities or equipment provided, yet they never stop because of their love and passion for football.
To give the much-needed attention and promotion to Football, Leisure Leagues, an international football league company recently set up their office in the upscale area of DHA Lahore in hopes to bring life to football in Pakistan.
Their first big attempt at this comes in the form of Pakistan’s first and biggest football event that will see as many as 8 international players arriving in Pakistan to play football in Karachi and Lahore.
On the 8th of July, with the help of Leisure Leagues and Pakistan Army, international stars like Brazilian Captain Ronaldhino and Ryan Giggs along with Roberto Carlos, Robert Pires, David James, Luis Boa Morte, Nicolas Anelka and Geroge Boateng will showcase their skills in Pakistan.
These 8 iconic players will play an exhibition game of seven-a-side in Karachi and Lahore on 8th and 9th July respectively.
Format of the Football match
Each team will have a maximum of 10 players with 7 playing on the field and 3 on reserve. One team will be led by Ronaldinho and the other will be led by Giggs. Each of these will get 3 international players a piece alongside local players from Pakistan.
As many as 12 local players will be included in the two teams altogether. These local players include the Pakistan Football team skipper Hassan Bashir and Mohammad Essa, Kaleemullah, Saddam Hussain and Saadullah.
The matches will be 90 minutes in duration having three sessions of 30 minutes.
Location and Ticketing Details of the Football Matches
The first match will take place on July 8th at 8:30 in the Abdul Sattar Edhi Hocket Stadium.
The second match will take place on 9th July at the National Hockey Stadium Lahore
Here are the ticket pricing structures for the two matches:
Pakistan’s First Ever Laser Show
Leisure Leagues will also be inviting international acts to perform at the inaugural match of the league. The international act will perform a laser show which will be the first of its kind in Pakistan.
More about Leisure Leagues Pakistan
Leisure Leagues is part of the World Group, a company in the UK. Before Pakistan, the league only existed in the UK, Ireland, and the US. Pakistan is the fourth country where the company as stepped in to promote football.
The Ronaldinho and Friends match in Pakistan is the first effort of the company to promote Football in Pakistan. Other than that, the league company is taking several initiatives to bring football at the forefront of the country.
The company has already started providing the football loving youth of Pakistan with international standard practice grounds, high-quality footballs and trained referees with state of the art first aid kits if an injury ever takes place.
Leisure Leagues has promised that the Ronaldinho and Friends football isn’t the last event the country will see. The league plans to bring this event to the country every year with. They are aiming to bring current football legends to Pakistan if this event becomes a success.
The company will also arrange several small leagues in different cities of Pakistan which will result in a single national league with one champion crowned. These champions will then have a chance to play in the mini football world cup in Dubai which is also managed by Leisure Leagues and features players from across the world.
Leisure Leagues is also in talks with United Soccer League in the U.S to send their scouts every year to Pakistan in order to train the youth of the country. At least 5 players from Pakistan will go to the USA to train under these scouts and if they manage to do well, they will have a chance to become professional players.
The company is also in talks with the government to build many more football grounds if they are provided with land. The Punjab Government has already agreed to hand over 100 grounds if the initiatives the Leisure League is taking in Pakistan comes to fruition.