This Is The Bitter Reality Of The Leisure Leagues Matches That Took Place In Karachi And Lahore.

Whether it was Ryan Giggs’ team or Ronaldinho’s team that won on the pitch in the two matches, at the end of the day, it was Pakistan that won. Anyone who has watched the football in the past decade knows exactly how big the players are that came to Pakistan and helped promote a sport that is adored by Pakistanis, and yet, is not given the attention it deserves.

While everybody appreciates the effort that was put in to bring the players here and look after them , by both the Leisure Leagues team, the Trunkwala family and the Pakistan Army, there were certain things that did not meet expectations, and certain things that were mismanaged, and everyone that attended the events, like us, would agree. Team Postshive attended the Lahore edition, and this is what we though needed improvement.

Firstly, the prices of the tickets were sky high. We could only get our hands on ‘Bronze’ tickets, the least costly ticket, and got to know why it was the cheapest when we got to the venue. The VVIP ticket holders, who paid Rs. 30,000 for the tickets, were given the privilege of sitting on sofas, and that was pretty much it! The ‘Bronze’ enclosure was so far out that the five-hundred or so spectators on our side could barely catch a glimpse of the players, let alone watch the match unfold.

The overall management was hampered by the security threat that was such an ominous possibility for such a high profile event, and no risks could be taken. This spoiled the football side of things, as the management, including the Army, were more concerned about the event going along incident-free, and maybe rightly so. The sheer humidity on the day was not helped by the lack of refreshment stalls at the venue. There was no way that close to two thousand spectators could be fed by a couple of makeshift tuck shops. No wonder the crowd chanted ‘Pani, Pani, Pani..’ before kickoff!

Azhar Ali seems to agree with us..

This guy had a pretty valid point as well..

But, at the end of the day, it all went well. Pakistan got to see Ronaldinho and Ryan Giggs play live in front of their very eyes. It was a family atmosphere at the Fortress Stadium in Lahore, with children and parents all enjoying the festivities of the day. Ryan Giggs addressed the crowd, the match concluded safely, and the players were taken back to their hotels, safe and sound.

Pakistanis, and Ronaldinho himself, have not held back in sharing their delight..

Zainab Abbas never lets us down..

Congratulations to Pakistan on making this happen. Leisure Leagues and the Trunkwala family, you wouldn’t be having Ronaldo’s or Messi’s phone number by any chance, would you?

About the author

Saad Gilani

Engineer. Writer. Red Devil for life.