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Friday Sep 10 2021

Mountain girls eye football glory as GBGFL set to resume this month

Women are seen playing football in Gilgit-Baltistan. — Geo News
Women are seen playing football in Gilgit-Baltistan. — Geo News

KARACHI: The picturesque valley of Gilgit-Baltistan has become a talent hotspot for women playing football for the country in the last few years.

The region has produced some top footballers like Malaika Noor, Sahar Zaman, Zulfia Nazir, Kafia Karim and many more who have done wonders on football pitches for the country and their respective domestic teams.

With so many role models around, young girls living on the mountains of Hunza are also dreaming to become one like them and that is why two sisters — Karishma Inayat and Sumera Inayat — have decided to immediately resume Gilgit-Baltistan Girls Football League (GBGFL).

Karishma told Geo News that the third edition of GBGFL is finally resuming this year from September 22. She added that eight teams will play during the season.

“The tournament will be played at a field in Passu Village in Upper Hunza, there will be a total of 15 matches including semi-finals and final that’s scheduled to be held on September 26,” she said.

Shedding light on her vision, Karishma said that both the sisters plan to create a safe space for girls to play and "by organising the league every year, they aim to train top-class players who could then pursue their future in any sport."

“We aim to expand the league to an international level and make it possible for players from other countries to come and join us which would help train more girls in Pakistan, particularly in the North. We aim to create more leaders out of these girls,” she said.

Replying to a question, Karishma said that it was a big challenge to organise but it was also important to resume sports activities for the girls.

She added that the league has helped girls get educational scholarships on basis of football and this is what she wanted by promoting sports in the valley.

“It is so overwhelming to see 100s of families encouraging their daughters to participate in sports, their response and the outcome we see is a great source of motivation for me to keep going,” she concluded.