Jan 27, 2022: English football legend Michael Owen laid the foundation stone of a football stadium at a university in Karachi on Wednesday.
Owen is on a three-day visit to Pakistan to promote football in the country. The event, held at NED University of Engineering and Technology, was attended by a large number of students, faculty and football fans. According to a university statement, the ground will be built in accordance with the European Football Association’s infrastructure standards.
Addressing the ceremony, Owen, who played for Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Manchester United during his illustrious career, said he was amazed by Pakistanis’ passion for the sport.
He said Pakistan is a great country for football, which is happy to be a part of the “historic” transformation of the game in the country. The best players of 2001 will participate in the opening ceremony of the seventh edition of Pakistan Super League on Thursday at National Stadium Karachi. He will also visit the Lyari Town area of Karachi, commonly referred to as “Mini Brazil” for its residents’ passion for football.
Owen also met with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Rawalpindi on Tuesday, according to a statement from the army’s media wing.
The former player signed a three-year contract last September to become the official ambassador of the Pakistan Football League (PFL) to promote talent in the South Asian country.
Football is a popular sport in Pakistan, where cricket is predominant, especially in rural areas. Despite this, the national team is ranked 200th in the FIFA world rankings.
Due to the lack of glamor and government funding, while dealing with intra-federation differences occupying sports grounds and small land-grabbing mafias, football in Pakistan ranked fourth among Asian continents in the 1960s but gradually degraded.
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