LAHORE - Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) deputy secretary general Fahad Khan, who is also Football For Friendship (F4F) representative in Pakistan, believes ‘F4F’ is helping Pakistan present its true image globally.

Talking to The Nation, Fahad said: “The F4F is a great programme, which is killing the differences and bringing the nations closer with the beautiful message of love, peace and tolerance. Pakistan is already playing its part in spreading their message and we will continue to do more efforts to spread F4F nine values.”

Explaining further about the programme, which has honour to win a great number of world records, Fahad said: “The F4F is the largest children social programme in the world with the tally of the participants that has joined the programme reaching to a daunting 211 countries for its 6th season scheduled to be held in Moscow from 8 to 15 June 2018.”

To a query regarding how beneficial this programme is for Pakistan, the PFF deputy secretary general said: “The F4F programme has been highly beneficial for Pakistan in a number of ways including providing an opportunity to its young talent to showcase their abilities at a global platform, giving them exposure, confidence and a friendship all over the world that they can cherish for life.

“Other than that, it has helped balancing out the negative perceptions created regarding Pakistan through politically motivated orchestrated media campaigns especially in the European media, providing a platform where people from across the world get to see how loving, hardworking, friendly and intelligent Pakistanis are. All in all, showing the true face of Pakistan to the entire world,” he added.

When asked how this programme can contribute in promoting football in Pakistan, F4F head in Pakistan said: “Pakistan has immense talent. Through this programme, we got to engage the social factions that only followed the international football and their families. The interest and the emotions that the parents ran through during the trials was evident in every little gesture they made, staying glued to the seats, watching every little bit of what their child did and above all, it helped us to provide this lot a great level of comfort as a result of which parents seemed to have become more confident and their trust in the PFF strengthened.

“Many of these parents told us that they will provide all kind of support to their children, if they get a chance to even participate in their age relevant national team camps. After 3 years of no football activity, this was our first stride in grassroots football engaging under-12 children and our coaches got to see this young vibrant talent that only needs nurturing the right direction to do great things for Pakistan football in future,” he added.  Lauding the role of PFF regarding promoting this international cause in Pakistan, he said: “The PFF stood tall with this event as it also aligned with its aim of promoting grassroots football at schools level to enhance our talent pool and engage families.

About his role, the PFF official said: “As a head of the delegation and representative of F4F in Pakistan, my responsibility is to create a national delegation, create plans to implement the programme by transparent selection, engaging schools to ensure maximum kids get the platform and dissemination of information and to provide equal platform to all kids, so that we may get best talent, who may also serve the country in future. I want to show the world that Pakistanis are peace-loving, friendly, intelligent and high-skilled people.”

“Pakistan has already been an important member of this programme. I am thankful to the entire team of F4F especially their global head Vladimir, Serov, who recognises all the work, we put in to support this international cause. My aim is to bring Football For Friendship Programme to Pakistan starting with at least 8 countries, so that we may show that world our hospitality and abilities of hosting and managing events of such nature professionally,” Fahad concluded.