Pakistan’s Women Footballer Heads to Premier League
Well if you did not follow Pakistani women football national team, you may reconsider it now. One lady is about to make football history for Pakistan’s national women footballers – Shehneela Ahmed, Britain’s first Asian female football agent, after months of talks and negotiations with officials from PFF is about to make history.
Almira Rafeeque set to try out for Premier league football club Tottenham Hotspur – Almira will be looking to become the first Pakistan female footballer to make her debut in the English Premier League when she takes part in the trials for Tottenham Hotspurs.
The 20-year-old old represented Pakistan for the first time at the South Asian Football Women’s Championship in November last year, and won the national women’s championship twice. Almira, who is still surprised at the turn in her footballing career, is thankful to Shehneela Ahmed — Britain’s first Asian female football agent for the English FA for this opportunity and the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF).
The midfielder, who was born in the UK, said she had returned to her home country in 2008 and started playing in Islamabad with Young Rising Stars FC the same year. She later returned to the UK for higher education but once again made her return to the footballing circuit with the same club back home in 2013.
Meanwhile, Shahneela said she believes the youngster can be a role model for many Pakistani girls back home and in other parts of the world, while adding that she was hopeful of Almira’s tryouts with Spurs.
“I’ll be working with Almira and other female footballers as they need proper guidance. I’ll do what I can to help them,” said Shehneela. On the other hand, PFF official Fahad Khan said that Almira’s tryouts are just the beginning for women’s football in the country.
“England is a good base to pursue a professional footballing career, and we just want our players to have this opportunity to progress,” said Fahad. Beauty with talent, yes, that’s the most appropriate phrase that we can use for these exceptionally gifted ladies. They are not just a pretty face but an epitome of confidence, self belief and determination. Every woman in Pakistan can take them as an inspiration for following their dreams.
These young, energetic and enthusiastic individuals prove it to the world that women too can do whatever they want to once they put their mind to it, irrespective of any of the hurdles and challenges that might come their way. “The next few days for some ladies their dream of playing in the English football league will be a dream come true. I’m excited, this will be a new episode for Pakistan Football especially for our inspiring ladies”. said Shehneela Ahmed.
She said “I’m amazed with the talent we have in Pakistan’s women national football team, no one was willing to turn the page of excellent opportunities for these ladies, until I took the first step. Just a glimpse of these players from Pakistan’s Women’s Football team will surely make you head to the nearest football stadium”.
PFF official Fahad Khan said ” Women football in pakistan has played a front line role in bringing about a cultural coherence ,curbing the class difference, nailing the ethnic and religious biases and moreover has shown the real face of Pakistan to the world where women are getting equal opportunity like men to show their skill and wear the national flag on their sleeve.
Our women national team has players from various religious and ethnic backgrounds, belonging to different social factions and come from areas where women is perceived to be suppressed like Baluchistan, interior sindh, southern Punjab , FATA , gilgit etc.
Getting into Europe will be a game changer not only for Pakistan but also for Europe who will have an opening for skilled players with such diversity. Moreover it will have an enhanced following as the millions of Pakistanis living in UK in particular and Europe in general would be right behind their heroes.
As for people in Pakistan, ones who are involved in football and the football lovers , this would be seen as a great opportunity to showcase our talent in one of the most competitive Leagues in the world and will as a result multiply the growth of women football as a career in Pakistan manifolds. It will also help the federation to create more heroes and help engage much needed corporate support to further improve the standard of the game locally”. said Fahad Khan.
In a nation where women are often suppressed from participating in activities, these inspiring young girls are part of the national team and needless to say they love the sport wholeheartedly. Pakistan is often in the news for all the wrong reasons, there are more than enough reasons to highlight the brightest aspects in the nation.