SIALKOT: The Made in Pakistan Telstar 18 footballs have been a major highlight of the FIFA 2018 Football World Cup, the final of which will be played in Moscow on Sunday (today).
The Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) on Saturday held an event to acknowledge the services of Khawaja Masud Akhtar, CEO of Forward Sports — the company which produced Telstar 18 for the international sports company.
Incidentally, the Sialkot-based football manufacturer and exporter was also produced the ‘Brazuca’ footballs which were used in FIFA Football World Cup 2014 Brazil.
The Government of Pakistan has also announced ‘Sitaara-e-Imtiaz’ for Mr Akhtar’s services to Pakistan’s sports goods industry.
Saturday’s ceremony was jointly presided over by SCCI President Zahid Latif Malik and Sialkot business community’s group leader Riazud Din Sheikh.
Mr Malik said the SCCI was giving a gold medal for the first time to acknowledge the meritorious services of the Sialkot-based industrialists and exporters. Khawaja Masud Akhtar was chosen for his exceptional contribution to the industry, he added. On the occasion, Mr Akhtar highlighted the importance of innovation through the usage of the modern technologies. “There is no doubt that Sialkot-Pakistan was much far ahead than the China, Vietnam, Thailand and other countries in quality production of the footballs.”
He urged exporters to focus on the much-needed advancement of Research and Development (R&D) to meet global trade challenges.
Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2018