“We are surprised that this kid played this official Fifa tournament on his own,” PFF Secretary Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi told The Express Tribune. “He is the only one from Asia to get short-listed among the best scorers of the FIWC.
“We had a chat when Nouman came to see me, and I must say it is heartening to see the youth’s level of interest in football.”
The 20-year-old Nouman, who has been an interactive World Cup player since 2013, said that the achievement of being short-listed by Fifa among the best six scorers is a proud moment for him.
The Lahore-based virtual footballer began playing the FIWC in October 2013. He was nominated as the top-scorer with five other players in the FIWC out of 8.7 million goals from other participants in the sixth edition of the tournament.
Nouman is competing for a hefty $20,000 and a trip to the Fifa Ballon d’Or 2014, given that he wins the tournament with the most votes. The voting, which is currently open at Fifa’s official website for the event, will end on April 29.
Another virtual footballer, Hammad Raza, won the prize for FIWC 2014 Country Challenge in March through a lucky draw. He will be going to the Fifa World Cup in Brazil.
‘My parents are very proud’
Nouman, who has completed his A’levels, said he feels excited about his achievement and his parents were also proud.
“I began playing the game on the X-box and later on my PlayStation in 2004,” he said.
“I spent at least three hours in front of the screen that caused my parents to lecture me on leading a balanced life.
“But when I told my parents about my selection, they were very proud.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2014.