Quetta, April 2, 2017: The final of Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) Balochistan Football Cup 2017 ─ the country’s largest-ever sponsored football tournament ─ was played between Panjgur and Chaman on April 2 at Ayub Football Stadium, Quetta.
Panjgur lifted the winner’s trophy by winning 1-0 thanks to a second half strike from Haseeb. Chaman came close to scoring twice but the Makran boys held on to record a historic win. Earlier, Chaman beat Quetta City 1-0 and Panjgur edged Quetta DFA 1-0 in the semi-finals on March 31.
Chief Guest, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources Jam Kamal Khan, Minister for Interior and Tribal Affairs Mir Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti, MD & CEO PPL Syed Wamiq Bokhari and Chairman Organizing Committee PPL Balochistan Football Cup 2017, Sardar Naveed Haider Khan along with other officials and area notables, tournament ambassadors and media personnel were present on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, Bokhari congratulated the winning team as well as the runner up for their outstanding performance. He acknowledged the local community for their participation throughout the contests stating that, “the tournament’s success can be gauged through overwhelming response from locals in the districts where these matches were played as well as the final round. This largest sponsored football tournament has assisted in projecting a positive image of Balochistan while involving local young talent from the grassroots to play their favourite sport.”
Bokhari thanked the provincial government, Pakistan Football Federation, Balochistan Football Association, tournament ambassadors and other stakeholders for their support and cooperation.
Honourable Jam Kamal Khan, while speaking on the occasion, appreciated PPL for hosting such a successful mega tournament in Balochistan. He urged PPL to make the football cup a regular feature to engage local youth for promoting peace and harmony in the province. He also lauded PPL’s commitment towards uplifting local communities through its Corporate Social Responsibility programme in Balochistan.
Later, the Chief Guest and Bokhari along with other dignitaries presented trophies and awards to the winner and runner-up as well as outstanding players.
The tournament, held between March 10 and April 2, saw 74 matches played between 37 teams from 6 provincial divisions ─ Quetta, Kalat, Makran, Sibi, Zhob and Naseerabad. Divisional qualifying round matches held between March 10 and 18 led to 10 teams – Nushki, Quetta City, Loralai, Sherani, Turbat, Panjgur, Kharan, Lasbela, Sibi and Jaffarabad- qualify for the final round along with Quetta and Chaman, winner and runner-up of the 2016 tournament. Starting March 21, 12 teams contested the final round with 8 – Quetta City, Lasbela, Panjgur, Turbat, Chaman, Nushki, Quetta DFA and Kharan – moving on to the quarterfinals played on March 28 and 29.
The company provided attractive incentives and prizes for all teams playing at the district-level and final rounds as well as sports kit to all players, besides meeting other expenses, enabling optimum participation from all areas. PPL has also invested in rehabilitation of football grounds where the matches have been played.