Envoy thrilled Pakistan will supply balls for Russia World Cup
Inside Forward Sport where footballs are being made in Sialkot, Pakistan
By Biola Lawal
Azim Khan, Head of Chancery, Pakistan High Commission in Nigeria is thrilled that sports goods manufacturer in his country will supply the balls to be used in the FIFA World Cup in Russia in June.
“The balls for this year’s world cup tournament are being produced by my country’, Khan said in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria.
The envoy said this year’s football tournament made it the fourth time his country will be producing the ball for FIFA tournament.
Khan said “seventy percent of hand-made football used across the world are produced in Pakistan’’.
He attributed the achievement to the high quality of leather materials used in his country for production of footballs which he said ‘has continued to draw global attention’’
The city of Sialkot in eastern Pakistan where the football is being made is famous all over the world for producing the finest quality sport goods. Footballs manufactured in the country have also been a part of the footballing extravaganza since a long time.
Sialkot was also once the unassailable soccer ball producing capital of the world — exporting about 30 million balls a year, an estimated 40 percent of global production.
The producing company, Forward Sports, which also makes footballs for the German
Bundesliga, France Ligue 1 and the UEFA Champions League, was also the official football
provider of 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Aljazeera reported recently.
Khawaja Masood, the chairman of the company, told Anadolu Agency,
“this is an honour for us, that we are going to provide footballs for the World Cup once
again. We are very excited to meet this challenge,”
Khawaja said his company produces 700,000 footballs a month, but refused to give the exact numbers of footballs the company is going to supply for the World Cup, due to restrictions from Adidas.
The football that will be used in the upcoming tournament is technically termed as
thermo bonded, which was first introduced in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Before that, Pakistan had supplied hand stitched football for almost all the World Cups
from the 1990s to 2010.