I CAN understand the frustration of Osama Ansari which he expressed in his letter (May 24). He has cited the ‘most popular game in the world being neglected in Pakistan’.
I can further enlighten him on this sad situation as my father, Khwaja Nooruddin, was the secretary of the Mohammadan Sporting Club of Calcutta in 1935 till the period of partition.
It was in this period that the club got its own playground. The club itself was launched in 1890, refusing them their own ground. They fought for this and the fact is that the Mohammadan Sporting Club beat the British and Hindu teams convincingly, and they played without shoes which they could not afford. Their trophies showed their achievements.
The important point was that most of their players were from Peshawar, the former NWFP, and the Baloch (Makranis) from Karachi and parts of Sindh.
After partition, Khwaja Nooruddin tried through the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) and with the help of Air Force figures like Air Marshal Nur Khan, Air Marshal Asghar Khan and Air Commodore Quddus for the revival of football in Pakistan.
But after their retirement, the apathy, indifferent attitude, politics, bias, especially at the expense of cricket, every other game has been ignored.
Only a dedicated leader for football can revive this sport which is not only affordable but has great potential in Pakistan. Let us hope we can find such a leader who will put us back on the football map.