Monday, September 10, 2012
Former Pakistani international footballer Abdul Ghafoor has died in Karachi at the age of 71. Ghafoor, known as the "Pakistani Pele" died afer a long illness. He was the captain of the Pakistani national football team during the 1960s and 70s.
Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, the President of the Pakistani Football Federation (PFF) released a statement after Ghafoor's death. He said “I was deeply saddened by the death of Pakistani Pele. This must be very difficult for all football lovers and players. Abdul Ghafoor was a kind person who will be greatly missed by all who knew him".
The PFF has come under some criticism from the Pakistani media about it's lack of support for Ghafoor in his five years of illness.
Ghafoor played his entire career in Pakistan playing for the Dhaka Mohammedan Club. He rejected offers to join clubs in such countries as Russia, China and Saudi Arabia to remain in his home country.
During his international career he is credited with being part of the best Pakistani national team ever. During this time Pakistan recorded victories over such nations as China and the United Arab Emirates. They were also successful in winning the 1974 Asian Games.
Today Pakistan have very little success in international football. They are ranked 177th in the FIFA World Rankings.
== Sources ==
"Death of Pakistani ‘Pele’ mourned" — Truth Dive, 9 September 2012
"Pakistani Pele was a ‘football encyclopaedia’" — The Express Tribune, 8 September 2012
"‘Pakistani Pele’ Abdul Ghafoor dead at 71" — Dawn.com, 7 September 2012