KARACHI: Football fraternity of Sindh, including national and international footballers, held a protest demonstration here on Tuesday to condemn the step of K-Electric to dismantle its football team.
The protesters demanded an immediate restoration of the team which had to its credit the Premier League title.
Hundreds of footballers, both national and international, and officials of various associations, assembled in front of the office of District South Football Association in Lyari on Tuesday. They proceeded to K-Electric head office at Gizri where speakers urged the authorities to restore the team.
The protesters were holding placards, bearing messages: “K-Electric football team’s closure is unacceptable. Stop financial killing of footballers. Give justice to national heroes. Making national heroes peons is totally unacceptable.”
The protest rally was also attended by former Sindh Football Association (SFA) secretary Rahim Bakhsh Baloch, former SFA senior vice-president Fateh Mohammad Baloch, Akbar Baloch, Gulab Baloch, Umar Aftab, Shahid Taj and former international Zafar Iqbal.
The protesters warned if the team was not restored then a huge protest would be launched and a sit-in and a hunger strike would be observed.
“We will never allow anyone to trample the rights of footballers,” a speaker said.
“These players have hoisted national flag on foreign soil. The Prime Minister Imran Khan himself has been a sportsman and players expect Imran to protect their rights. We will continue our protest until the team is restored. We will also stage a protest demonstration in front of the Chief Minister House and the Governor House,” a speaker said.
Reacting to the protest, a K-Electric spokesman said that the step had been taken to strengthening the future of footballers. “In order to make their future prosperous, the footballers have been offered field jobs and a training plan has also been prepared for that,” the spokesman said.
“Players have also been offered financial packages in case any one does not accept job offer. Most of the players have accepted the K-Electric job offers. Those who did not take benefit of the offers are no longer associated with the department,” the spokesman said.
“Some negative elements are flaring up the issue,” the spokesman added.
K-Electric is the third department after ZTBL and Habib Bank Limited (HBL) to disband its football team.