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Wednesday June 19, 2024

Yusuf Raza Gilani advocates for football as a tool for social change

By Mumtaz Alvi
June 04, 2024
Senate Chairman Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani addresses during a reception hosted in honor of the World Football delegation, at Parliament House in Islamabad on June 3, 2024. — PPI
Senate Chairman Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani addresses during a reception hosted in honor of the World Football delegation, at Parliament House in Islamabad on June 3, 2024. — PPI 

ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani advocated for concerted efforts to use sports as a vehicle for positive change and transformation in society on Monday.

Expressing these views while addressing an international football delegation at Parliament House, he remarked, “Football is no ordinary sport, but a bridge that transcends boundaries, unites cultures and ignites passion in the hearts of millions.”

He emphasised that Pakistan has potential in the sport of football and that there is no dearth of talent and passion. However, he insisted that professional coaching and nurturing are required to produce world-class players and put Pakistan on the map of international football.

Gilani expressed his excitement to see football gaining momentum in the country and anticipated a bright future for this wonderful sport in Pakistan.He acknowledged the pivotal role of the Pakistan Football League (PFL) UK in pioneering international football in Pakistan. Their visionary initiatives, including the impactful ‘Football 4 Hope,’ exemplify their commitment to social development, education, and inclusivity.

“They are not only nurturing talent but also fostering unity and resilience, and their commitment to implementing international standards and making football accessible to all,” he maintained.

He said the international delegation of the football community brings with them a wealth of experience, talent, and dedication, which could help Pakistan embark on a journey to elevate its position in the global football arena.

Gilani assured his all-out support for the promotion of state-of-the-art football facilities and the nurturing of local talent in Pakistan. He remarked, “Let us celebrate the spirit of football, embrace diversity, and work together to create a brighter future-one where every child has the opportunity to chase their dreams on the football field.”

In his closing remarks, Gilani thanked Farhan Ahmed Junejo, Chairman of the Pakistan Football League UK, Ahmer Kunwar, CEO of PFL UK, and other distinguished representatives of PFL for their efforts to promote football in Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, Michael Owen, a famous football star and official ambassador of the Pakistan Football League, observed that Pakistan has huge potential in sports and that such opportunities would help explore hidden talent, bringing youth into the game of football. He thanked the Senate chairman for his remarks. Speaking to the participants in the gathering, the PFL chairman said that they aimed to explore talent and provide opportunities for youth to come forward and show their potential. He said 10 teams would be launched, which include Multan, Lahore, Peshawar, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Quetta, Islamabad, and the Northern Avengers, among others, to take part in football events.

It is pertinent to mention that 10 international clubs are visiting Pakistan to promote the game of football. The delegation, having a unique and diverse composition, comprises eminent football players, experts, managers, organisers, and sports journalists, including Michael Owen, Emile Heskey, Pascal Chimbonda, Raul Rodriguez, Steve Wood, Ardian Bevington, Da Rocha Gomes, and Alison Jane Peakman.