KARACHI: A futsal series organiser has said that Pakistan could organise a better and bigger league than the one recently organised in India if the corporate sector supported.
“Recently India organised Premier Futsal League in which international football stars participated,” said Asad Nasir, Head Organiser of PGF Series (season six), which is under way at DH Creek Club. “We can hold a better league as we have more than 150 teams only in Karachi,” he said.
Asad said it should be noted that the 2016 Indian Premier Futsal League featured retired football players like Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Ronaldinho, Michel Salgado and Hernan Crespo besides the latest entrants Jairo Manoel dos Santos, Francisco Ruiz Serrato, Leandro Simi, Gabriel da silva Dias and Luis Amado Tarodo.
Talking to ‘The News’, Asad said they started this league with 32 teams six years back and had successfully transformed it into the biggest sport event of the country as 146 teams only from Karachi were participating in the current season.
“The game of futsal is getting popular in the country with four to five events being held every month in Karachi and almost every city of the country has tournaments of this sport,” he added.
The sixth season of PGF (play the game futsal) is being held at Creek Club from August 1-7 in partnership with DH Creek Club. Taqat FC are the defending champions.
“As many as 64 teams are in the seniors category, 48 in under-16 category, 24 in under-13 category, and eight teams in female category,” said Asad.
He added that Bahria University’s team from Islamabad was also participating.
Asad said that Old Fighters had won thrice this futsal event in which 250-plus matches are played only in group stage.
“FIFA-approved referees officiate this event,” said Asad.
“The winning team will get Rs80,000 and many gifts from our sponsors. Overall prizes amount to Rs300,000,” said Asad.
“The format of this league is like European Football League as top two teams move into series A after winning and the top 3rd and 4th teams get to play in series B,” said Asad.
He said he wanted to enter football with a similar league. “We also want to open an academy to facilitate under-privileged players. We wish to extend this league to other cities of the country but this needs extra efforts and finances. We need support from the government and corporate sector,” said Asad.
“Moreover, we would like to organise coaching camps in winter and summer every year for young players. There is huge potential in our children which is evident from street children’s team that won an international title. Our institutes and organisations need to come forward to help our talent,” said Asad.