Pakistan keen to spread the word
Thursday, June 22 2006 @ 05:02 AM ACST
Contributed by: Ash Nugent
Football took another step forward in Pakistan recently with the Swat Continental Hotel in Mingora, playing host to the 'Seminar for the development of Australian Rules football in Pakistan' (WFN first reported activity in the region in the article College tournament planned for North-West Pakistan).
The seminar, run by the head of the 'Australian Football Federation of Pakistan', Mr. Mumtaz Ali Khan, and attended by the federation’s executive members, school and college-level students and numerous volunteers had an underlying theme of 'helping youths resist drugs'.
During the seminar, Mumtaz Ali Khan expressed his thrill that Pakistan had joined the growing list of football-playing nations. Currently they have a four-team High School/College competition, regularity in their fixtures and around 100 players on their lists.
In another positive, Naeem Ullah Khan, General Secretary for the Federation, announced that football would be used to preach peace in the area, with plans to spread the game to nearby Afghanistan, Kashmir and Central Asia. It is also hoped the sport will foster Australia-Pakistan relations.
Mumtaz Ali Khan thanked the many people who have been involved with the game to date, but stressed that they still faced an uphill battle. Further sponsorship is needed, greater assistance in maintaining and growing the sport and more equipment. Anyone interested in supporting footy in the region can contact Mumtaz on firstname.lastname@example.org.