Football in Pakistan

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Pakistani Football
CountryPakistan
Governing bodyPakistan Football Federation (PFF)
(formed in 1948, joined FIFA in 1948)
National team(s)Pakistan
Nickname(s)Pak Shaheen
First played1940s
National competitions
Club competitions
International competitions

Association football is the most popular team sport in Pakistan after cricket and field hockey, and it is organised and regulated by the Pakistan Football Federation.[1][2][3][4]

Pakistan's current top domestic league, Pakistan Premier League, was formed in 2004 in an attempt to professionalize domestic football. Also contested is National Football Challenge Cup, a knock-out competition between clubs and departments. The current captain of the Pakistani national team is Hassan Bashir. Pakistan is currently ranked 205 in the FIFA World Rankings.[5]

History[edit]

The origin of football in Pakistan can be traced back to mid-nineteenth century when the game was introduced by British soldiers in British India. Initially, games were played between army teams. However, clubs were soon set up around the country. Kohat FC was the first club to be established in 1930, it became the first outstation team to win the North-West India Football Championship 1937 in 1937 defeating Government College Lahore 1–0 in the finals.[6] More clubs were formed after independence which includes Afghan FC Chaman and Wohaib.

Foundation of PFF[edit]

Football in Pakistan is as old as the country itself.[7] Shortly after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) was created, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah (the founder of Pakistan) became its first Patron-in-Chief. PFF received recognition from FIFA in early 1948.[8]. The annual National Championship was organized shortly after. In 1950, the national team gained their first international experience in Iran and Iraq. In 1954, the Pakistan National Team participated in the Asian Games at Manila and also toured the Far East. In 1958, Pakistan again took part in the Tokyo Asian Games. Pakistan also took part in the annual Asian Quadrangular Tournament.[8]. However, the game could not develop as smoothly as it should have.[9] Pakistan's participation in international competitions has not been regular. The standard achieved in the early 1950s could not be maintained because of lack of organization of the game.

League system[edit]

The highest football division in Pakistan is the Pakistan Premier League, which expanded from 14 to 16 teams in August 2010.[10]

Cup competitions[edit]

The Pakistan National Football Challenge Cup is the national knockout competition of football in Pakistan.

National team[edit]

The Pakistan national football team is a member of the Asian Football Confederation, and its sub-confederation the South Asian Football Federation, as well as world governing board FIFA.[11][12]

Academy[edit]

In January 2019, Atlético Madrid started Pakistan's first European football academy.[13][14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A history of football in Pakistan — Part I". Dawn.com. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Football Reclaims Lives of Pakistani Street Kids - India Real Time - WSJ". Blogs.wsj.com. 13 January 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  3. ^ "FIFA, AFC committed to promoting soccer in Pakistan: PFF president". Nation.com.pk. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  4. ^ "A history of football in Pakistan — Part II". Dawn.com. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  5. ^ [1]. FIFA.com
  6. ^ [2]. rsssf.com
  7. ^ "Far Post: Sialkot, Pakistan - Where soccer gets made - Soccer - SI.com". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Govt Sports Portal". Sports.gov.pk. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  9. ^ "A history of football in Pakistan — Part III". Dawn.com. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  10. ^ "PFF approves two more teams in Premier League". The Nation. 12 August 2010. Archived from the original on 30 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  11. ^ John Duerden. "Pakistan's football team missing in action - Football". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  12. ^ Zahid, Samee (23 August 2012). "Pakistani Football: Where are you? – The Express Tribune Blog". Blogs.tribune.com.pk. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  13. ^ "Atletico Madrid shoot for football future in cricket-mad Pakistan". Dawn. 20 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Atletico Madrid's Pakistan academy: Spanish giants seek raw talent & viewing share". BBC. 27 December 2018.

External links[edit]