Monday , 19 February 2018
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FPDC Inquisition: Football Academies in Pakistan, You Pay to Play!

By Gauhar Mahmood Azeem,

This article was written after a young talented boy of 14 from Karachi called me to ask me to help him further his progress in football. He said he couldn’t ‘’afford’’ to learn football from the setups near his area.

The performances of a nation in football always reflect the state of the youth development setups in those nations. World Champions Spain has the world’s best academies providing the national team setup with an un-ending stream of great educated young footballers for years to come. Those academies also provide youngsters with an opportunity to simply PLAY.
Over the last few years Pakistan has seen growth of football academies in its major cities including Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. They should give the young kid of Pakistan an opportunity to reach the top of world football shouldn’t they? In theory they should!

The academies here in Pakistan though are finely tuned money-making machines. Some in Karachi are even charging outrageous sums of Rs. 3000/- monthly as membership fees. The cost in Lahore is a lot less though. One immediately thinks if it shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t the players earn a stipend for playing? They should!

Further more the club level performance of these Academies is below par, nothing worth a headline. They are reluctant to put an extra effort to promote themselves in that regard and are focusing on the bird/business in hand.

Now I seriously believe that academies are the way forward. But NOT like how they are working at the moment. They should genuinely care for the footballer, who at their level is a kid.

Can anyone explain how the loss of a great budding footballer is justified when all the crime he ever did was being born in a poor family. When he’ll start to earn, he’ll be too old.

The academies should look to sponsors. It isn’t too difficult by the way. Arsenal recently needed to sell naming rights to their stadium to earn money to build it, thus Emirates Stadium. Commercialism and good marketing is football now. These academies need to realize this now. I would rather see an academy giving naming rights, every board of its stadium/ground, and shirt space to a sponsor than listening to kids telling that we can’t afford to join a proper football academy.

The PFF should maybe make legislation in this regard; it should explore some avenues in this regard. A lot of things come to my mind, A LOT, I don’t need to teach anyone sharpness and problem solving here.

It is my humble request to these academies and their owners. Hire a marketing manager, even someone part time. Wouldn’t cost you a lot, I guarantee. Ask him to explore the commercial aspects of a company where a 1000 plus kids come to play football weekly, a company which has a ground/stadium in a good commercial area, one whose name is famous and one which has a potential to play 100’s of football games an year(imagine the benefit this gives to a shirt sponsor).

Let’s give the kids a right to play and help them genuinely. Let’s stop charging our players. Money is important, making money is ones right, but there are other better ways to make money in the same scenario which are potentially more rewarding than what is now.

About Gauhar Mahmood Azeem

doctor, radio show host, football commentator, writer, motivational speaker, loves football


  1. Certainly clubs need a lot of improvement internally besides their performance. Rather than taking fees from young talents, Clubs should rather pay them for their time and efforts or at least they can pay for their kits, daily traveling expense and daily required nutritions.
    Grounds are also need to be regularized with the help of PFF, PHA and clubs in a way that every player and club should have the right to play.

  2. Taking the kids on board, getting a collaboration program with foreign clubs and academies throughout Asia and Europe, and then selling players to teams (in theory, keeping in mind visa/work permit issues) is something academies should do….

  3. We should be happy people understand that academies are in need. 5 Years ago there was no academy all around in Pakistan. ;)

  4. I think what we need in Pakistan is ,”non-profit volunteer organizations”. We need volunteer parents who take the roles of coaches, refrees, assistant coaches, team parents and lots of motivated kids. My kids play soccer at such reginal level @ $55 per child for whole fall & winter session(in USA).This price included uniform and a group & individual photo with coach.I have attached the link for our rigional soccer.
    Wake up Pakistan!

  5. Yeah, thats shocking… rather than Clubs paying their players… they are charging the young futures of Football…

    Good points by Gauhar, there are a lot of ways for the Clubs to earn by different kind of sponsorships or like what Ali Ahsan said… selling players to other Clubs. By this, the clubs could earn & spend on grooming more local talent.

  6. its same in lahore too.e.g mtfa admisision fee is rs 5000 monthly rs 2500-3000 but good level and nice atmosphere. jogging track for families also. rest in lahore is crap. no proper facilites.

  7. I play for gulshan soccer academy…we charge only 500rs per month and 2000rs for admission!….our academy started with just 8 players and now we have more then 75 players..! we play in 16star ground….it is a mud ground…our academy was formed on 22feb 2006…our coach is sir adam jee and…!

  8. Hi i m Abrar Ahmed frm north waziristan and leave in Peshawar pl z dosto koi muje Peshawar me football academy k bare ma bathaye k Peshawar me foot ball academy kaha per ha plz {send me a message }my id is

  9. can anyone tell me if there is a football academy in peshawar,please i really want to know.Send me a message.My id is

  10. i m frm balochistan and kindly register me

    • oh really i m also frm balochistan and now i m here in spain in two days i will came to pakistan and also join acadmy

  11. i want to admit in hayatabad football academy
    friendz,plz guide me

  12. how can i join for a football club in rawalpindi i am 17 years old

  13. how can i join for a football club in KARACH 15 YEARS OLD

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