Pakistani football had peaked in the 1960s and 1970s. It was then that they were led by captain Abdul Ghafoor Majna – the nickname “Pele of Pakistan”. At that time, they were always in the top 10 of Asia, once knocking over the Soviet Union. But for many reasons, Pakistani football gradually descends. After stopping in the beginning of the World Cup qualifier against Yemen in March 2015, Pakistan received a ban from FIFA due to the government’s deep involvement in football.
When the Telstar ball at the World Cup 2018 was rolling, the football fields in Pakistan were just rubble. The Pakistan National Championship stagnated, the team fell to 201 FIFA. Football officials have set their sights on attending the 2026 World Cup finals, when the tournament has been expanded to 48 teams, but they have no specific plans.
In Pakistan, there are three million people playing football, according to FIFA statistics. The country of 193 million people cannot compete in the South Asian Championship, but they still dream about the World Cup. Pakistan’s passion for soccer is undeniable. Movement matches attract viewers no less the national prize. But the Pakistan government has no plans to develop football in this country, as well as many other sports.
Cricket is the most popular sport in Pakistan. Their new prime minister – Mr. Imran Khan – is the legend of this football. He was the leader of the national team that won the 1992 World Cup, after beating England in the final. Khan will try to invest in Pakistan’s football once again to the top of the world, but the fate of football and other subjects remains open. A few days after he took office, the hockey team went on strike. They refuse to attend Asiad if they have not been paid for benefits for the past six months.
“The new government has not made any change yet. We, Pakistani sports fans, want to give advice to the country to invest in football and other subjects, not just wooden balls,” said the site manager.