Immense craze, but can’t play; heartbreaking tale of football in Pakistan


KARACHI: Pakistan, a country of over 200 million population, never disappoints when it comes to celebrations, regardless of how tough living standards are here. People often survive in getting their basic needs fulfilled but still they take out something to cheer every now and then. 

Similarly, huge arrangements and celebrations were done here during the last two days when two of the biggest football events, Copa America and Euro Cup, concluded. A big screen was installed in Malir and Lyari for last night’s Euro Cup final between Italy and England.

Earlier on Saturday, people in Lyari and Malir celebrated the big victory of Argentina against Brazil in Copa America Final, lifting the trophy after 28 years.

The celebration by Pakistanis clearly showed how much they love the game because Argentina, Italy, Brazil, England are too far from Pakistan, but it was all about football. Unfortunately, the craze is here but football isn’t. Who is responsible?

FIFA’s ban

Currently, Pakistan is suffering a second-time suspension by FIFA, yet again the political and personal interest marred the game in the country. Be it cricket or any other sport here, political personalities make something out of it for their personal interest. A lot of examples are loud and clear proof of it.

A lot of times their interest hurt the status of Pakistan, but from one government to another, the power of interest kept on transferring.

The interest-war in the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) caused hugely to the game and now it is suspended again, leaving plenty of footballers helpless and hopeless.

READ: FIFA suspends Pakistan Football Federation due to third-party interference

Last time Pakistan got the hope

Earlier in 2015, FIFA banned PFF due to the intervention of a third party in electing Ashfaq Hussain as president. In 2018, the ban was lifted and Pakistan’s men team played a match against Nepal after three and a half years. That was the last hope for Pakistan in the game but nothing changed since then.

READ: Senate chairman Sanjrani forms committee to rescue football in Pakistan

What’s the future?

It’s hard to predict the future of football in Pakistan in the current scenario. Like before, FIFA will not accept Ashfaq Hussain’s forced charge of the PFF. They have clearly asked for freeing the PFF’s headquarters and handing over the charge to their Normalisation Committee. Otherwise, the ban will remain still, and football in the country paralyzed.

Meanwhile, the same old story will repeat. Hopeless and helpless players will start leaving the country to play football somewhere else outside. Pakistan will lose talent and that talent is priceless for sure.

We can only hope for the government to make efforts to revive football in Pakistan!!