ISLAMABAD, February 14, 2019: Russian embassy team came from behind to take Leisure Leagues for Diplomats Season 2 title overtaking Brazil Embassy despite their match ended in a 3-3 draw and both teams accumulated 21 points in the league, which was played here at Total Football Ground.
The draw helped Russian Embassy claim top position in the league and the honor of becoming champions for the first time in a sporting event in the diplomatic mission’s history in Pakistan. Eight teams representing embassies of Brazil, Spain, Japan, Iran, Thailand, Russia, China and Mixed International played 14 matches each on double league basis. The Mixed International team contained players of France, England, Sweden and Nigeria embassies.
Following the first seven matches, where each team played one match against every other team, Brazil Embassy remained unbeaten and occupied top spot. Russian Embassy team stood at third spot behind second placed Thailand Embassy.
However, in the next seven matches, Russian Embassy came from behind on points table to leapfrog both Brazil and Thailand Embassy teams to take top position.
Although Russian Embassy accumulated 21 points – similar to that of Brazil Embassy, but the side has a clear edge of 27 goal difference against Brazil Embassy’s 13.
Thailand Embassy, with 20 points and a goal difference of 27, secured third spot. Mixed Internationals trailed behind narrowly at fourth position with 20 points and a goal difference of 25. The next four spots were occupied by embassy teams of Iran (13 points), Spain (11 points), Japan (6 points) and China trailed at bottom-rock eighth position failing to secure a single point.
The closing ceremony of the 14-week long league took place at Marriot, Islamabad where Minister of Privatization and Aviation and former President and Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Muhammad Mian Soomro graced the occasion with his presence as chief guest.
The event also included speeches from the honorable chief guest General Haroon Pasha (Hilal-e-Imtiaz [Military], former DG NAB, Sindh) and Leisure Leagues COO Syed Ishaq Shah.
The distinguished guests lauded the efforts made by Mr. Mehmood Trunkwala and the World Group for reviving football in Pakistan through Leisure Leagues and expressed hope that the Trunkwala Family will continue making its mark on football in the country.
“Football is a game that requires a lot of team effort and seeing Leisure Leagues increase its footprint gives me great confidence that this venture is going to showcase the best qualities of Pakistan and its people. And I congratulate World Group and the Trunkwala Family for this great initiative,” Mr. Soomro said.
The honorable guests distributed trophies and medals to all participating embassies as well as offering special acknowledgement to Ambassador of Brazil H.E Mr. Claudio Lins, Ambassador of Morocco H.E. Mohammad Kamoune, Ambassador Of Spain H.E. Manuel Duran, Embassy Of RussiaVice Counsel Vladmir L. Berezyuk, Ambassador Of Yemen H.E. Mohammad Motahar Al-Ashabi, Ambassador Of SudanH.E. Talgalkdin Elnadi, Ambassador Of Kyrgyzstan H.E. Erik Beshembiev, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka H.E. Mr. Noordeen Mohamed Shaheid, High Commissioner of Kenya H.E. Professor Julius Kibet Bitok and Deputy Head of Mission of Uzbekistan Mr. Zafar Ahmed.
Chairman World Group, Mr. Mehmood Trunkwala said that the togetherness of the diplomatic community is a crucial element towards the revival of football in Pakistan.
“Seeing the community of diplomats participate under our platform gives us a lot of confidence in our abilities to help portray the right image of Pakistan and I hope that this league grows in size and stature in years to come through the efforts of World Group and Leisure Leagues.”