KARACHI/LAHORE: Looks like nothing is going to dampen the spirit of football fans in Pakistan, not even the record high prices of tickets for the historic football matches featuring the world’s biggest football stars in Karachi and Lahore this weekend.
The prices of the tickets of the first such high-profile football match in Lahore have outshone the previous prices of tickets of all major sports, even cricket – the most popular sport of the country.
For Lahore match on Sunday, six category of tickets have been offered: Platinum plus (Rs 12,500), Platinum (Rs 12000), Gold (Rs 8000), Silver (Rs 5,500) Bronze (Rs 2000) and VVIP (Rs 30,000).
The ‘Ronaldinho and Friends’ lineup includes Brazilian football star Ronaldinho who will be accompanied by Brazil’s 2002 World Cup winning teammate Roberto Carlos, former French midfielder Robert Pires, France’s Nicolas Anelka, Portugal’s Luis Boa Morte, Netherlands’ George Boateng, England’s David James and former Manchester United great Ryan Giggs.
Ronaldinho will be leading one team and Ryan Giggs will be captaining the other side, with both the teams a mix-up of seven foreign and local players.
Despite the high ticket prices, diehard lovers of the game are committed to see their heroes in action as it is a rare opportunity to watch world topnotch footballers in their own arena whom they have seen playing on TV screen for years.
“I will be going with my family to watch the match, obviously we cannot afford high price value tickets but we are happy to buy five Bronze category tickets for us,” said Ahmad Sohaib while talking to APP on Friday.
Saadoon Ali, a student of MBBS in a local medical college, said he does not have enough pocket money to buy the ticket plus his busy study schedule does not allow him to go to the stadium to watch the match.
“Obviously I will be watching the match on TV,” he said.
Fans in the football-mad Lyari neighbourhood of Karachi said they had spent their savings on tickets. “I want to have a glimpse of Ronaldinho,” said a young fan.
“After the PSL final here in March it is going to be another top level international sports activity and we are glad that Pakistan is hosting world’s best known footballers,” said a group of former and present international players of football.
They said the presence of the world famous footballers will be a history-making moment in Pakistan sports, especially football. Successful holding of the two-match series in Pakistan will re-establish the country’s soft image, sending a positive message to the world that Pakistan is safe for international sports events.-AFP