By Assam Sani, FPDC Correspondent , Lahore
These are some exciting times for Pakistani football. First the visit of Ronaldinho and friends which included some greats such as Arsenal’s invincible Robert Pires, United’s most loyal Ryan Giggs, Chelsea’s own Nikolas Anelka and more as they graced our football grounds with their presence and we got to see them play firsthand and not just on our TVs.
Now, another international footballing event is upon us. While football fans here at home and all over the world are preparing for the beautiful game’s biggest event in the summer, the FIFA World Cup that comes every four years and is perhaps the most anticipated event in sports, the party however starts now.
It’s been made possible thanks to Coke Pakistan, the official sponsors of both FIFA and the World Cup Trophy Tour. It presents football fans of the country to watch the trophy up close but you can’t touch it. The only ones who can do that are World Cup winners and the FIFA chief.
— Umaid Wasim (@UmaidWasim) January 9, 2018
With the FIFA World Cup official trophy going around on a world tour, it lands in Pakistan in just a matter of hours to be displayed for the football fanatics in the country who can get a chance to see the trophy.
Not only that, the recent news of the French international Christian Karembeu accompanying the trophy to Pakistan has excited the fans even more. Karembeu boasts an impressive resume having won the Euros with France in 2000 and won the Champions League twice in 1998 and 2000 while playing for Real Madrid.
With the international sporting events being few and far between in the country these days, fans all over the country have welcomed the step taken by FIFA to bring the trophy to Pakistan, ignoring the irony that it is happening while our federation is suspended by FIFA. This tour still holds a lot of value in the eyes of the football fans in the country and the fans have made their excitement known!
— Ammar (@Ammar_Haider) February 1, 2018
— Bissmah Mehmud (@bissmahmehmud) January 30, 2018
And it’s not just the fans that are exhilarated, celebrities and sportsmen and women from all sports have been quite vocal about their excitement about the worldcup trophy coming to Pakistan! The ever classy Younis Khan is at the forefront once again in his efforts to represent Pakistan in a positive, sports and football loving country that we know it is!
The arrival of the trophy and an international star accompanying it is a welcome sight for the fans all over the country as the frequency of these events has increased in recent times. Events like these give us hope that all is still not lost for sports and football in Pakistan. Pakistani fans gearing up to go see the trophy in Lahore not just from Lahore but from all over the country which means the 3rd February Coke fest event is sure to be one of the biggest events the country is going to see since the tour of Ronaldinho and friends and the World XI cricket team.
— Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) February 2, 2018
As a Pakistani football fan one can only hope and pray that, even though it might feel like things are moving slowly, this positive momentum continues that has seen the love of football in Pakistan being highlighted and has attracted interest from top brands such as Coca Cola and that things can finally take a turn towards the better with football coming into the lime light even more.