LAHORE - The Leisure League Pakistan Tuesday signed Nicolas Anelka for an exhibition seven-a-side match to be played between Pakistan Stars and Rest of World stars in Karachi July.

Brazilian star Ronaldinho, Netherlands’ Goerge Boateng and England’s David James have already signed for Leisure Leagues. Leisure League is a UK-based organization, which holds five-a-side, six-a-side and seven-a-side leagues in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and USA.

Former PSG, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and French International talisman Nicolas Anelka is the latest player to sign a deal to join Ronaldinho and Friends for a match in Pakistan this summer. 38-year-old Anelka has represented France national football team in 69 international games between 1998 and 2010.

In a statement released by the organisers of Leisure League, Anelka said he was looking forward to visit Pakistan and has a special connection with the country. “The aim of my participation is to help boost football in Pakistan and having embraced Islam as my religion, I have a special connection with Pakistan.”

Expanding their network in Pakistan, Leisure League COO Ishaq Shah said: “Leisure League Pakistan is creating new avenues for football in Pakistan. Bringing international players to Pakistan is a huge feat and hosting the likes of Ronaldhino and Nicolas Anelka is a great honour for us.”

World Group COO Anas Trunkwala said that bringing international football to Pakistan had been an immense feat to accomplish. “We are proud to play a part in bringing this initiative to this Pakistan. We have huge football following in Pakistan and this will be a treat for all of the fans.”

PSL chairman Najam Sethi, who graced the occasion as guest of honour, said introducing international level football in Pakistan was opening new avenues in the sports industry. “I commend Ishaq Shah for bringing this venture to Pakistan. Hosting such international events will help in portraying softer image of the country and also assist in brining international sports here.”

Sports Minister Jahangir Khanzada also lauded the efforts of Leisure League for bringing this amazing initiative for sports in Pakistan. “I hope this league will be a successful event and open floodgates of international sports in Pakistan.”