Football in Pakistan

Association football is among the most popular team sports in Pakistan, together with cricket and field hockey. It is organised by the Pakistan Football Federation.[1][2][3][4]

Football in Pakistan
Governing bodyPakistan Football Federation
National team(s)Pakistan
First played1948
National competitions
Club competitions
International competitions



The origin of football in Pakistan can be traced back to mid-nineteenth century when the game was introduced by British soldiers in British India. Initially, games were played between army teams. However, clubs were soon set up around the country. Kohat FC was the first club to be established in 1930, it became the first outstation team to win the North-West India Football Championship 1937 in 1937 defeating Government College Lahore 1–0 in the finals.[5] More clubs were formed after independence which includes Afghan FC Chaman and Wohaib. The first female club to be established was Diya W.F.C. in 2002.[6]

Foundation of PFFEdit

Football in Pakistan is as old as the country itself.[7] Shortly after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) was created, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah became its first Patron-in-Chief. PFF received recognition from FIFA in early 1948.[8] The annual National Championship was organized shortly after. In 1950, the national team gained their first international experience in Iran and Iraq. In 1954, the Pakistan National Team participated in the Asian Games at Manila and also toured the Far East. In 1958, Pakistan again took part in the Tokyo Asian Games. Pakistan also took part in the annual Asian Quadrangular Tournament.[8] However, the game could not develop as smoothly as it should have.[9] Pakistan's participation in international competitions has not been regular. The standard achieved in the early 1950s could not be maintained because of lack of organization of the game.

National teamsEdit

The Pakistan men's national football team and Pakistan women's national football team are members of the Asian Football Confederation, and its sub-confederation the South Asian Football Federation, as well as world governing board FIFA.[10][11] National minifootball team is member of Asian Minifootball Confederation.

League systemEdit

Professional leaguesEdit

The Pakistan Premier League is the league for men's association football departments and clubs which in the Pakistan football league system, is the country's first tier professional football league. Contested by 12 departments and clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Football Federation League.

Cup competitionsEdit

The National Football Challenge Cup is an annual professional football competition in men's domestic Pakistani football within the Pakistan football league system, deciding the competition winners through a round robin group stage to qualify for a single-legged knockout format, and a single leg final.


In January 2019, Atlético Madrid started Pakistan's first European football academy.[12][13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ahsan, Ali (23 December 2010). "A history of football in Pakistan – Part I". Karachi, Pakistan: Dawn. Archived from the original on 4 September 2022. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Football Reclaims Lives of Pakistani Street Kids - India Real Time - WSJ". 13 January 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  3. ^ "FIFA, AFC committed to promoting soccer in Pakistan: PFF president". Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  4. ^ Ahsan, Ali (23 December 2010). "A history of football in Pakistan – Part II". Karachi, Pakistan: Dawn. Archived from the original on 5 September 2022. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  5. ^ Pakistan - List of Champions.
  6. ^ Wasim, Umaid (8 August 2014). "Balochistan United look to transform women's football in Pakistan". Dawn. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Far Post: Sialkot, Pakistan - Where soccer gets made - Soccer -". 11 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Govt Sports Portal". Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  9. ^ "A history of football in Pakistan – Part III". Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  10. ^ John Duerden. "Pakistan's football team missing in action - Football". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  11. ^ Zahid, Samee (23 August 2012). "Pakistani Football: Where are you? – The Express Tribune Blog". Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  12. ^ "Atletico Madrid shoot for football future in cricket-mad Pakistan". Dawn. 20 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Atletico Madrid's Pakistan academy: Spanish giants seek raw talent & viewing share". BBC. 27 December 2018.

External linksEdit