Top Football Stars Arrive in Pakistan for Pakistan Football League Launch

The stage is set for a historic event in Pakistan’s sporting landscape as top football stars from around the world have arrived for the official launch of the Pakistan Football League (PFL). The launch event, taking place on Tuesday in Lahore, marks a significant milestone in Pakistan’s football journey.

Star-Studded Delegation

Football legends and executives from the UK, Italy, Spain, USA, and Portugal have confirmed their participation in the launch. The Pakistan High Commission in London has issued over a dozen visas for this occasion, reflecting the event’s global significance.

The high-powered delegation is led by renowned figures such as:

  • Michael Owen: Retired English footballer known for his goal-scoring prowess with Liverpool, Real Madrid, and the English national team.
  • Emile Heskey: Former English footballer who played for Leicester City, Liverpool, and Aston Villa.
  • Pascal Chimbonda: French national team player who competed in the English Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur, Wigan Athletic, and Sunderland.
  • Raúl Rodríguez: Former central defender for Espanyol in Spain’s La Liga.

Visits and Engagements

Upon their arrival on Monday, the footballers visited Red Oak High, ISSC Campus, and Roots Millennium Group of Colleges. They also met with various ministers. Michael Owen even played football with children at a local school, highlighting his commitment to inspiring young talent.

The delegation includes prominent figures such as:

  • Steve Wood: Oversees Michael Owen’s global commercial activities.
  • Adrian Bevington: Highly experienced senior executive in English football.
  • Michael Knighton: English businessman and former Manchester United board member.
  • Carlo Mastellone: Former Italian footballer.
  • Adolfo Guerrero Gunther: Club Atletico de Madrid’s International Expansion Manager since 2016.
  • Amando Moreno: Spanish football director who has worked with Rafa Benitez.
  • Davide Gomes: Former head coach of Benfica B.
  • Luis Miguel De Sousa Santos Reis: Retired Brazilian footballer.
  • Gustavo Amador Moure: Seasoned legal professional.
  • Adrián Varela: President of International Relations at CA River Plate.
  • Wilson Lotutala: Marketing Director at FC Basel.
  • Chris Kaufmann: CEO of FC Basel 1893.
  • Paul-David Matthias Erne: Head of recruitment at FC Lous Club in Major League Soccer, USA.
  • Michael John Farnan: British entrepreneur and co-founder of Redstrike.
  • Simon Bytheway: Senior executive at Redstrike.
  • Glen Morgan and Ait-Ali Rabah: Key figures in the delegation.

Media Presence

Renowned sports journalists are also part of the delegation, including:

  • Alison Jane Bender: Known for her work with Sky Sports, Chelsea TV, and Real Madrid TV.
  • Jim White: Veteran sports writer for The Telegraph.
  • Gary Stonehouse: Experienced sports journalist for The Sun.

Itinerary and Key Events

The three-day visit began on Monday in Islamabad, followed by a journey to Lahore for the official unveiling on June 4. The visit will conclude in Karachi, known as The City of Lights. The itinerary includes important meetings with senior officials and a football carnival at Kakri Football Stadium in Lyari, aimed at honoring Pakistan’s unsung football heroes.

Vision for Pakistani Football

Farhan Junejo, Chairman of PFL UK Holdings, overseeing the event, emphasized the significance of the launch, stating, “Pakistan has warmly embraced football professionals, underscoring the sport’s potential and global interest in Pakistani football. The inaugural kick-off in this league will significantly impact the lives of numerous young aspirants.”

Farhan Junejo’s initiative includes distributing 100,000 footballs across Pakistan, ensuring every child who wishes to play football has a ball. “We have secured agreements with a club in Portugal to send 100 children to Lisbon annually for training alongside top professionals. My vision is for Pakistani youth to travel abroad on private jets rather than through perilous routes,” he added.

Football professionals will also engage with senior military and political leadership, further highlighting the importance of this historic event.

Stay tuned for more updates as the Pakistan Football League embarks on its journey to revolutionize football in Pakistan.

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