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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Pakistan Football League Set for Launch

The Pakistan Football League is launching on June 4th in Lahore, aiming to revolutionize football in Pakistan through substantial investments, international collaborations, and a focus on social and educational development.

The Pakistan Football League (PFL) is poised for its grand launch on June 4th in Lahore, featuring English football legend Michael Owens as the chief guest. This momentous event will see the participation of an extensive 25-member foreign delegation, including notable figures such as Mike Farnan, CEO of Redstrike; Davide Gomes of SL Benfica; Luis Miguel de Sousa Santos Reis of SL Benfica; and Sky News football pundit Mike Alison Bender. Michael Owens has been appointed the Ambassador of the Pakistan Football League.

Organizers and Investment

The launch event is organized by PFL UK Holdings, a UK-based group committed to overseeing the successful delivery of the PFL, with an investment promise of tens of millions of dollars. PFL UK Holdings was established by Farhan Ahmed Junejo as its Chairman, Ahmer Kunwar as its President & CEO, alongside other leading investors from the UK and UAE.

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Farhan Junejo stated that PFL UK Holdings serves as the cornerstone of international football in Pakistan, aiming to drive foreign development investment. He emphasized that the group will leverage its international connections to foster the growth of football in Pakistan, adhering to international standards while making the sport accessible to everyone.

Vision for Football in Pakistan

Junejo highlighted the broader mission of PFL, which focuses on the social and educational development of football in Pakistan. The initiative, “Football 4 Hope,” aims to integrate all four provinces, ensuring football is accessible to all without discrimination. He illustrated the sport’s transformative power, from informal games in slums to competitive matches in stadiums, emphasizing football’s ability to instill confidence, pride, and unity.

Junejo underscored the universal appeal of football, noting that “one ball and 22 players can create a game anywhere in the world.” To spread joy and foster a love for the game, PFL plans to distribute 100,000 free footballs to children across Pakistan.

Goals and Future Plans

The PFL aims to bring together the finest football talent from across Pakistan, providing players with a platform to showcase their skills, compete at high levels, and achieve their dreams. The league aspires to unite communities, celebrate diversity, and promote a positive sporting culture.

Junejo revealed a planned £1 billion investment in Pakistan’s sports industry, with growing interest from Gulf countries. This investment will focus on developing football stadiums, training centers, and facilitating training opportunities for Pakistani players in international clubs.

He shared that the team’s mission is to revolutionize the sports ecosystem in Pakistan, targeting to put the country on the global soccer map. This includes organizing league matches, training children and players with international coaches in Pakistan, and sending professionals to train at prestigious clubs like Benfica.

Community Engagement and Development

Junejo articulated a vision to steer children towards sports rather than crime, aiming to provide them with hope for a better future. The “One Smile: One Ball” initiative exemplifies this mission, promising a world-class football in exchange for a smile, thereby promoting healthy and positive activities among children.

Benfica has agreed to annually host 100 Pakistani children and players at their world-class training academy in Lisbon, Portugal. Junejo believes this initiative can unify the country by bridging divides. Talent hunts in remote areas like Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Kashmir, Quetta, Gwadar, Malir, and Lyari have already shown promising participation, with over 5,000 children showcasing their talent in just three days of scouting in a poor neighborhood.

The launch of the Pakistan Football League marks a significant milestone in the country’s sports history. With substantial investments, international collaborations, and a strong vision for social development, the PFL aims to not only elevate football standards but also to foster unity, hope, and empowerment across Pakistan.












This article was received directly from the reporter.