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October 14, 2017

Classic Football League planned for next year


October 14, 2017

KARACHI: After taking initiatives to hold the leagues of kabaddi, wrestling and volleyball in future, the country’s sole sports management company ‘Strawberry Sports Management’ also plans to hold Classic Football League next year.

The company’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Haider Ali Daud Khan on Friday announced it here at a launch media briefing.

He was flanked by the event director Shahid Khokhar and top officials of Sindh Football Association (SFA) Rahim Bakhsh Baloch and Fateh Mohammad Baloch. Also present were hockey Olympian and one of the best goalkeepers of his time Mansoor Ahmed, renowned television actor and comedian Zulqarnain Haider, film and drama producer Ammad Azhar, and coaches and officials of different departments.

The organisers said that the event is expected to be held in February next year, most probably here at the Peoples Sports Complex in Lyari. They said that the event would be televised live.

The first edition would carry as many as six teams which would be given the names of cities.

The organisers revealed that the selection of the teams would be made through players’ draft.

They informed that the stuff of the Pakistan Premier League, second tier-league and clubs would be utilised for the purpose.

“The selection of the players will be transparent,” Shahid Khokhar said.

However, the organisers don’t have any intention to invite foreign players in the inaugural edition.

“In the first edition, home-grown players will be given a chance and once the environment becomes clear, we will also invite foreign players in the future events,” Daud said.

The organisers also are mulling over an option to provide opportunities to those footballers who are competent but yet unknown.

Daud said that the players would be picked in three categories (A,B,C) and they would be given incentives accordingly.

Daud said that departments have been specifically engaged in the project because of their contribution to football development.

“Those who bring players from grassroots level would also be made partners in the venture,” he said.

At a time when FIFA has suspended Pakistan’s membership due to third party’s interference, the step of organising CFL will be of great benefit to the national players.

But the organisers may face selection issue as for the last two seasons neither Premier League nor second-tier league has been organised due to conflict between two groups.

And one of the organisers admitted that it could be an issue.

“Yes, it could be a problem. But we will try to sort it out after taking input from the experts. It’s just the first step and we have to go a long way. But I am confident that the event will be successful,” the organiser told ‘The News’ after the briefing.

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