KARACHI: Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) and Strawberry Sports Management would jointly hold the franchise-based Classic Football League (CFL) near the end of this year either in Karachi or Lahore, the organisers announced in Lahore on Thursday.
In the two-week event the country’s top players, including current and former internationals, will be showcasing their talent. The organisers have already picked the leading seeds for the purpose. The organisers said that at least five teams, named after the four provinces and one other region, would be fielded in the competitions.
They said that the PFF had pledged complete support for the event. Some of the details of the competitions had already been unveiled by the organisers a few months ago in Karachi.
Shahid Khokhar, Head League Development and Media PFF and Director of the CFL, said that it would play a pivotal role in the development of the game in the country.
“Football plays a pivotal role in the development of society but unfortunately in Pakistan it could not attain the heights it could have,” Shahid said at a news conference at the PFF headquarters.
The Strawberry Sports Management Chief Executive Officer Haider Dawood, the event selection committee chairman and PFF Director Technical Shehzad Anwar and PFF Director Competitions Sajjad Mehmood were also present on the occasion.
“There are several reasons for it. Pakistan was unable to adopt the latest measures and this is the main reason that the sport did not grow,” Shahid said. He said that franchise-based league was popular globally. “It allows stakeholders to participate in the development of the sport. This also gives the corporate sector a prominent role,” he said.
He assured full support for the success of the League. Shehzad appreciated Strawberry Sports Management for planning the event. The PFF has formed a selection committee comprising qualified coaches to select players for diamond, gold and emerging categories.
Sajjad said they weighed every option and time-frame for holding the event and it was decided that it should be organised some time in the last quarter of the year. Haider said the event would break the barriers in the way of development of the game. “The league will benefit not only players and officials but also fans and various organisations attached to it,” he said.