Sialkot: Official Manufacturer of FIFA 2014 Footballs

 By: Nouman Zafar  Date: --
Sialkot: Official Manufacturer of FIFA 2014 Footballs
It must be a proud moment for the Sialkot based football manufacturer to be the official manufacturer of FIFA 2014 World Cup footballs. The owner of this manufacturing company dreamt of being able to produce football for the biggest stage in soccer in 2006 and his dream finally came true when a Chinese based manufacturer showed its inability to meet the deadline given to it for FIFA 2014. The Sialkot based company can now proudly claim to be the supplier of the world cup balls.

This should hardly come as a surprise. Sialkot is the world’s leading football supplier. In the 90’s, around eighty percent of the world’s footballs were manufactured in this city and were considered of excellent quality. Many international brands, such as Adidas and Nike, had contracts with the Sialkot based cottage industries for the manufacturing of footballs. However, in 1997, there was a huge uproar on usage of child labor by the local manufacturers. This led to many of these International brands to end their contracts unless child labor was completely abolished. It was a huge setback and even though, the industry managed to get rid of child labor within four years. There was an initial fear that the ban of child labor in this industry will have a negative impact on the kids themselves instead of positive ones. Pakistan is a developing country and per capita income is quite less compared to the other parts of the world. Many people rely on their children to bring in much needed cash to meet daily needs. This ban raised concerns that children might be directed towards more hazardous industries. However, the ban had a positive impact the following years. The number of school going children increased by few thousands and it gave encouragement to the local authorities and also to the International Market that the ban was effective. During this time, China had made huge progress in this field and it took some time for Pakistani Soccer manufacturing Industry to come to terms with International market and gain their trust.

In recent times, Sialkot football manufacturers have been official suppliers to many football leagues around the world, German Bundesliga being one of the most prominent leagues using Pakistani manufactured footballs, Champions League being another important club tournament. It is an official estimate that around 40-60 million footballs are exported from Sialkot annually. Only this year, and for World Cup alone, this figure has already crossed 40 million. This is a huge boost for the economy of Pakistan. This not only brings in valuable foreign exchange but also helps to boost the image of Pakistan on world stage. Many foreign newspapers and news channel have been publishing Sialkot’s story and this highlights Pakistan as a nation that is not just defined by terrorism or radicals.

The ‘Barzuca’, the official name of the FIFA 2014 football, is a Brazilian term. FIFA 2014 is the most watched sporting event in the world. 32 Soccer powerhouses will compete in June 2014 to win the most prestigious prize in Football. By the time, you will be reading this blog, the kick-off would be only a few days away. Even though, Pakistan is known as a cricketing nation with its Football Side ranked in the low hundreds; however, this time around, do watch the world cup. Take some pride in the fact that the football that each of those players will be running after, is manufactured in Pakistan. Football, the game that brings joy and happiness to so many, and Pakistan will be playing an important part in it. This is not a dream come true for one man but just another small example of the potential this nation has.
Sialkot < Sialkot District < Punjab < Pakistan

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