Lahore-Pakistan's largest-ever sponsored football tournament ‘Baluchistan Football Cup 2017’ will commence today (Friday), with round matches to be played in Quetta, Kalat, Makran, Sibi, Zhob and Naseerabad.

The tournament is being sponsored by Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) in collaboration with government of Baluchistan and Baluchistan Football Association (BFA). The organisers Thursday said 74 matches would be played altogether between 37 teams during the tournament, with semi-finals on March 31 and final on April 2 at Sadiq Shaheed Football Stadium (Malibagh), Quetta.

The first day will feature six round matches between Naseerabad and Sohabatpur, Kharan and Kalat, Qilla Saifullah and Barkhan, Quetta DFA 2 and Pishin, Gwadar and Pasni and Dera Bugti and Kohlu teams. “The basic purpose of holding the grand event to engage youth from the grassroots in healthy recreation and provide a platform to identify and nurture talent as part of PPL's long-term stake for improving quality of life for deserving communities in the province,” said the PPL officials.

Former national footballers M Essa Khan, Zahid Hameed, Saadullah, Sher Ali, Nasrullah Khan and Mehmood Ali are the tournament ambassadors. All the teams playing at the district-level and final rounds will be offered attractive incentives and prizes as well as sports kit, besides meeting other expenses, enabling optimum participation from all areas.

According to PPL officials, the company has also invested in renovating football grounds in Baluchistan where the round and final matches will be played.