Maradona is will­ing to come to Pak­istan: Agent

The Pak Banker - - INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS/SPORTS -

Af­ter a day of tiki taka in which Diego Maradona com­pared the Ar­gentina Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (AFA) to the Pak­istan Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion (PFF) and the PFF Mar­ket­ing Con­sul­tant Sar­dar Naveed Haider Khan replied with a tongue-in-cheek com­ment that the Ar­gentina leg­end should come visit Pak­istan, it has come down to this. In a com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween Sar­dar Naveed and Maradona's man­ager Gus­tavo Amador Moure, shared with Dawn.com, the lat­ter has asked the PFF to send an of­fi­cial in­vi­ta­tion for the 53-year-old foot­ball great. "We would wait for the man­date from the PFF to sched­ule a meet­ing with Diego's lawyer and ad­vance this sit­u­a­tion as soon as pos­si­ble," Moure, of the ABC Sports Agency, says in his e-mail. "Diego knows some­thing [about Pak­istan] as Ah­mer Kun­war [of Bri­tish­based sports man­age­ment com­pany TouchSky Sports] spoke to me about the pos­si­bil­ity of do­ing some­thing with him in Pak­istan." So far, it's a stun­ning de­vel­op­ment. And if it does hap­pen, Sar­dar Naveed be­lieves it will be huge for foot­ball in Pak­istan.

"Foot­ball in Pak­istan is in need of help and sup­port," Sar­dar Naveed told a web­site.

"What bet­ter help can there be than a player of Maradona's stature com­ing to Pak­istan," he asks.

"He's re­garded as one of the great­est play­ers to have played the game of foot­ball. "Not only that, but he en­joys great pop­u­lar­ity in Pak­istan. "Imag­ine what were to hap­pen if he would ar­rive at the Quaid-i-Azam In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Karachi or the Al­lama Iqbal Air­port in La­hore. "Fans would throng by the thou­sands just to get a glimpse of him.

"The in­ter­est that would cre­ate for foot­ball in the coun­try, es­pe­cially the in­ter­est in Pak­istani foot­ball, would be im­mense." Sar­dar Naveed added that the PFF would be send­ing the of­fi­cial in­vi­ta­tion to Maradona very soon and urged the govern­ment to play their part in mak­ing it hap­pen.

"This is an op­por­tu­nity for the govern­ment of Pak­istan to step in and make it hap­pen for the growth of foot­ball in Pak­istan," he said. Maradona has pre­vi­ously been to the sub­con­ti­nent - both times to In­dia - and has been treated to rap­tur­ous wel­comes on his ar­rival. He first came to In­dia in 2008 when he set up a foot­ball academy in Kolkata with his lat­est visit there com­ing in 2012 when he launched a jew­elry store in Ker­ala. His visit to Pak­istan, though, would be solely for foot­ball. "It would be mas­sive for the coun­try's foot­ball if Maradona were to come to Pak­istan," Pak­istan's most dec­o­rated foot­ball coach Tariq Lutfi told a web­site.

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