Jul 042017

KARACHI: Leisure Leagues on Tuesday unveiled the trophy and the shirts for the exhibition small-side football matches involving Brazilian star Ronaldinho and Friends to be held later this week in Karachi and Lahore.

The matches will also involve former and current Pakistani players, some foreign-based players and the best crop of the Leisure Leagues Pakistan.The event held here on Tuesday amid huge media attendance was attended by the World Group Chairman Mehmood Trunkwala, WG President Shahzeb Trunkwala (LL organisers), Leisure Leagues Chief Operating Officer Ishaq Shah, former Pakistan president Mohammad Mian Soomro and Lt General Javed Zia, advisor to Leisure Leagues Pakistan.

Ronaldinho will be accompanied by his 2002 World Cup winning teammate Roberto Carlos, former French midfielder RobertPires, France’s Nicolas Anelka, Portugal’s Luis Boa Morte, Holland’s George Boateng, England’s David James and Ryan Giggs, who has replaced former English and Chelsea captain John Terry who opted to skip the tour due to his professional engagement.

“Best of luck! I would be part of the next event,” John Terry said.The two outings will involve as many as 28 players.The matches will be held here at the Abdul Sattar Edhi Hockey Stadium and Fortress Lahore on July 8 and 9, respectively.

The Karachi game would begin at 7:30pm, the Leisure Leagues COO Ishaq said.One team will be led by Ronaldinho and the other will be captained by Ryan Giggs.Ronaldinho and his squad will wear blue, while Giggs and company will wear green shirts.

The matches will be of 90 minutes duration.Ishaq said that they would give exposure to the Pakistani players who excel in the Leisure Leagues.“We want to organise such events in future also,” Ishaq said. “Later this month the second season of Leisure Leagues will begin. A Madina-based club wants to visit Pakistan later this month and a six-a-side squad from England also wants to come to Pakistan,” Ishaq said.

Renowned singers Ali Azmat and Momina Mustehsan will sing a song, specially composed for the purpose during the opening ceremony here on July 8. Momina lauded the efforts of the organisers for bringing a galaxy of super stars. Besides former Pakistan players, current striker Kaleemullah also attended the event.The trophy unveiled was made in Australia and is of Swarovski crystal.

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