Pakistan is supplying footballs that will be used for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Doha, Qatar, in the winter of this year.
The official ball for this year’s World Cup is called ‘Al-Rihla’, which translates to ‘the Journey’ in Arabic. Adidas prevents Forward Sports from revealing the exact number of footballs that it will supply for the World Cup, “not in thousands but millions”.
Qatar Football Federation president Akhtar Al Akhtar has revealed that the official footballs for the 2022 World Cup finals will be ‘thermo-bonded’ and water-based inks and glues have been used for the first time, he said.
Thermo-bonded footballs were first introduced in the 2014 World Cup. Their panels do not have stitches but are made by attaching the panels through heat.
Forward Sports was also the official football provider of the 2014 and 2018 World Cups. It currently produces footballs for the German Bundesliga, French League, and the Champions League. Rising inflation, energy tariffs, and labor costs have not hindered business. Its Chairman stated that “everything is running smoothly”.
Pakistan makes $1 billion a year by exporting sports goods, of which $350 million to $500 million come from footballs alone. Meanwhile, Sialkot also exports sports goods such as cricket bats, hockey sticks, shining (cricket and hockey), and accessories.