KARACHI: The renowned JAFA Soccer Academy of Lyari, which was formed by former International footballer Javed Arab at Kakri Ground has produced many prolific and competent footballers but sadly it has not received the sort of recognition that it should have got.

On Tuesday, a delegation of Karachi Sports Foundation led by chairman Asif Azeem visited the JAFA Academy offices and lauded their role and services for football.

Asif said that the academies play a key role in promoting any sport and football is the most played and watched sport in the world. In Pakistan, Lyari is called the nursery of football. Soccer is the identity of Lyari and the youth of Lyari are obsessed with this game.

The delegation comprised president of the KSF Syed Wasim Hashmi, SVP Tehmina Asif, secretary Murad Hussain, finance secretary Muhammad Nasir and exec­utive committee member Faraz Ejaz. JAFA Academy chief coach Javed Arab thanked the Karachi Sports Foundation for its special patronage to the academy.

He said that out of over 200 boys trained at the Academy, 31 players have so far represented Pakistan at international level while 4 out of 50 girls have also played international matches.

On the occasion, Javed Arab presented souvenirs of the academy to Wasim Hashmi and other guests.

Asif Azeem added that the athletes, across the world, are trained in academics on physical and technical aspects of sports from the grass root level, which significantly improves their performance in international events.

“Our players are very gifted with skills. There is a need for the government and the private sector to take steps to ensure the provision of sports infrastructure to the players so that the players can showcase their talents,” he said.

Waseem said that the performance of the players in the current era is dependent on their hundred percent physical fitness.

Tehmina Asif said that Pakistani women are flying jets as well as climbing the highest mountain peaks in the world, so women must be provided with full opportunities in sports also.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2020