Alexey Dedov — the Russian Ambassador to Pakistan — confirmed earlier this week that Sialkot-made footballs will be used in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which is slated for later this year.
Pakistanis will have their special moment of joy when they see footballs made in their own country being used to score goals in the international-level event.
But Pakistan, the 198th-ranked football country, will unfortunately not partake in the mega event.
Located just outside Sialkot, Forward Sports “was also the official football provider of 2014 World Cup in Brazil” and has made “footballs for the German Bundesliga, France Ligue 1, and the Champions League”, Al Jazeera reported, citing Turkey’s Anadolu Agency.
The company “is a contracting manufacturer of global sports brand Adidas” and is making its labourers work “extra hours to ensure on-time delivery of the footballs”.
According to Forward Sports chairman Khawaja Masood, his company churns out 700,000 footballs a month.
“This is an honour for us, that we are going to provide footballs for the world cup once again. We are very excited to meet this challenge,” he said.
First introduced in 2014, the football to be used in 2018 FIFA World Cup is “thermo bonded”. Prior to this, Pakistan used to supply handmade and stitched footballs.
“Thermo bonded balls are made by attaching the panels through heat – the latest technology adopted by Adidas and transferred to Forward Sports in 2013.”