Wednesday May 16, 2018
KARACHI: The Pakistan Street Child football team once again made the nation proud by beating some of the toughest teams in the Street Child Football World Cup 2018 and qualifying for the tournament’s final, where they were defeated today by Uzbekistan on penalties after a neck-to-neck contest.
However, despite their consistently good performances the talented young team has received nothing but empty promises from the higher-ups in the government, which has left it disheartened and disillusioned.
A Twitter page dedicated to Pakistan football, FootballPakistan.com, has drawn attention to the Sindh government’s promises made to the national Street Child football team years ago, which, to this day, remain undelivered.
According to the page, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and party leader Sherry Rehman promised financial rewards for the team four years ago. But to this day, no payment has been made to the young stars.
Head coach of the Street Child team, Abdur Rasheed, told Geo News that the Sindh Assembly had promised Rs0.2 million to each player as well as jobs, but nothing has yet been done.
Rubina Qaimkhani, the provincial minister at that time, had promised jobs whereas Bilawal had assured to invite Argentine legend Maradona to Pakistan, Rasheed said.
“I demand that they fulfill their promises to us,” he added.
Speaking to Geo News, PPP’s Sherry Rehman, who is also leader of the opposition in Senate, regretted the unkept promises and said she would ensure the financial rewards are delivered to the team as soon as possible.
“It is regrettable that the promises weren’t fulfilled,” she admitted, adding that she has reminded the PPP chairman of the promised rewards. “He has instructed to immediately give out the rewards as promised, and it will be done in a few days,” she said.
However, later during the day, FootballPakistan.com issued a clarification on Twitter saying, "It has been confirmed Bilawal Bhutto Zardari did in fact pay street child team the money he had promised in 2014 but Sindh government did not fulfil their promises of cash prize and jobs to the players. Hope he and Sherry Rehman can also make Sindh government finally do that as well."