Geo Super League: Pakistan’s only professional football competition
Brainchild of the famed Geo television network and the PFF, the Super Football League can be considered as arguably the closest thing to a fully professional set-up, Pakistani football has ever produced.
In its inaugural season in 2007, the Super Football League totally changed the football culture in the Islamic Republic. Players became overnight heroes as fans were glued to their television screens, screaming at them to ping that pass and score that goal.
Handsome salaries for a big revival, as some of the highest paid stars gathered nearly 300,000 to 450,000 PKR during the time the league ran. A princely sum compared to the lethargic wages paid in the Pakistan Premier League, the so-called highest echelon
of the game in the country.
Youth were also in the mix, as team quotas were introduced and a number of starlets eventually made their way to the National team after putting on scintillating displays in Karachi.
Muhammad Qasim is perhaps the best example. Struggling to make his name in the game, he was plying his trade with Ravi FC, who play in the Islamabad A League, the third-tier of Pakistani football.
But through hard-work and determination, he made it through to the grueling trials and starred in the SFL’ 07. His grit and elbow grease paid off, as he was snapped by KRL before eventually being selected to Pakistan at International level.
His highest of highs were truly achieved when he notched a hat trick in Pakistan’s 9-2 win over Guam in the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers. Currently, Riaz Ahmed, who is playing KESC, was also scouted during the SFL’10 and is a prime example of youth developing
due to a proper set-up.
There was no Geo Super Football League held in 2011, despite the overwhelming response it generated in 2010. A major failure in the part of the PFF, who should be trying to secure a deal that would allow the league to run for a whole 9 months and perhaps
form the top level of football in the country.
If the federation is ever able to pull that, Pakistan will surely climb up the ranking and cement its place as one of the best teams in Asia.