Leisure League to spon­sor Pak­istan team for Socca WC

Daily Messenger - - Sportlight - Dr M. Arif Hafeez Sports Re­porter

KARACHI: Leisure Leagues Pak­istan (LLP) has now paved the way for a Pak­istan foot­ball team to fea­ture in the in­au­gu­ral edi­tion of ISF Socca World Cup and peo­ple be­hind the en­ter­prise say that more is yet to come. “We be­lieve that send­ing a Pak­istan team abroad to com­pete in Socca World Cup will por­tray a pos­i­tive im­age of Pak­istan in theworld. We will con­tinue to send teams rep­re­sent­ing Pak­istan abroad and will also be host­ing in­ter­na­tional play­ers and clubs in Pak­istan in the fu­ture as well,” said Shahzaib Mehmood Trunk­wala.

Shahzaib Trunk­wala is the Pres­i­dent of World Group, the business house that owns LLP. He has been ac­tive be­hind LLP ac­tiv­i­ties in Pak­istan and has also been ap­pointed as In­ter­na­tional Socca Fed­er­a­tion (ISF) Vice Pres­i­dent dur­ing the in­au­gu­ral ISF meet­ing held in Birm­ing­ham, UK ear­lier in Fe­bru­ary this year par­tic­i­pants com­ing in from 52 coun­tries. How­ever, he re­frained from re­veal­ing de­tails of up­com­ing events af­ter Socca World Cup that will in­clude Pak­istan’s participation in events abroad and Pak­istan host­ing sev­eral well-known for­eign play­ers and clubs as well. “We will an­nounce things when the time is right,” Trunk­wala added. “There’s no doubt that Socca World Cup is a very big event for us and we have pre­pared well for this event. But we are also look­ing be­yond this event too. Ab­so­lutely we are here to stay and or­gan­ise more events,” Trunk­wala said.Pak­istan will be fea­tur­ing in the in­au­gu­ral Six-a- Side mini-foot­ball World Cup, which be­gins in Lis­bon, Por­tu­gal from Septem­ber 23. Pak­istan has been placed in Group ‘B’ with Rus­sia, Spain and Moldova in the 32-team event. Cur­tains will fall on the mega event on Septem­ber 23. LLP has also ap­pointed Pak­istan’s renowned foot­ball coach Tariq Lutfi to coach Pak­istan socca team that will be com­pet­ing in the up­com­ing World Cup. Lutfi is con­sid­ered as the best foot­ball coach in Pak­istan. Lutfi has coached both men and women’s na­tional teams in the past. He has also coached de­part­men­tal teams and is cur­rently coach­ing SSGC at the mo­ment. LLP has spread a net­work for small-sided foot­ball in the coun­try and pro­vided plat­form for per­sons who want to play foot­ball even in re­mote ar­eas of the coun- try.In fact, Pak­istan’s team mainly com­prise of Leisure Leagues Na­tional Cham­pi­ons La­hore ICAW. Eight city cham­pion teams, which had won their re­spec­tive Leisure Leagues In­traCity tour­na­ments, fea­tured in the Leisure Leagues Na­tional Cham­pi­onship, which was held in­Au­gust in Karachi. Leisure Leagues added an­other four play­ers to the squad one player each from other three semi-fi­nal­ist teams and one player from Pak­istan team that fea­tured in Street Child World Cup. “We are happy to see im­mense in­ter­est of foot­ballers in the league and we are very happy to have taken this ini­tia­tive. There’s great tal­ent among our youth and we want to pol­ish that as much as we can and hope that we con­trib­ute for the progress of foot­ball in the coun­try,” Trunk­wala said.

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