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Friday April 12, 2024

‘Top Pak footballers could have earned Rs10 million each’

By Alam Zeb Safi
April 02, 2024
Pakistan football team. — PFF/File
Pakistan football team. — PFF/File

LAHORE: Pakistan football team’s former assistant coach Nasir Ismail on Monday said that if departments had not been closed and Pakistan continued to exist in international football circuit persistently in the last nine years the country’s mainstream footballers could have earned a minimum of Rs10 million each until now.

“It bleeds my heart when I give this statement that if our football had continued to exist in international circuit during the last nine years and departments not been closed then those mainstream footballers, who were employed by departments and who were also part of national teams could have earned a minimum amount of Rs 10 million each with great ease,” Nasir told ‘The News’.

“The absence of domestic competitions has inflicted severe blows on their livelihoods, leading to the closure of almost all departmental teams. This dire situation raises questions regarding the efficiency of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalization Committee as well as the accountability of FIFA which continues to extend support to this committee,” Nasir said.

“Despite the persistent pleas from the current national team head coach urging the PFF NC to prioritise the organisation of leagues, challenge cups, national women championship and grassroots events the committee has shown a lack of initiative. This indifference towards the plight of footballers has plunged their families into dire financial crises,” Nasir said.

He said that the repercussions of this financial turmoil extend beyond individual players to the broader footballing community in Pakistan. “Without adequate support and investment in domestic football the country risks losing its talent pool and diminishing its standing on the international stage,” said Nasir, also an AFC License A coach.

“As custodian of the sport FIFA must hold the PFF NC accountable and work towards reinstating domestic competitions to alleviate the financial hardships faced by Pakistani footballers. Failure to act swiftly could have irreversible consequences for the future of football in Pakistan,” Nasir said.