Sialkot is known to be the undisputed Football manufacturing capital of the world. It is understandable that the forces backed by vested interests initiate campaigns to malign the international recognition Pakistan has achieved in the past few years in terms of supplying to global brands. One such claim being surfaced across social media is alleged below-par wages to the laborers which are not factual and are totally opposite to the ground realities.
Working with brands like Adidas comes with the added responsibility of adopting the best manufacturing practices as validated by international certifications and management standards. The exporters of Sialkot take full cognizance of this and are fully compliant with such standards that involve gender equality, minimum wage, and the social & physical well-being of the laborers to name a few.
On the flip side, hand-stitched footballs have now become obsolete as replaced by the latest technologies including thermo-bonded, hybrid, and machine-stitched methods that involve a specific skillset from the operators. Moreover, with a strict minimum wage policy in place. I believe that social media quarters spreading the false propaganda should have verified the veracity of the claims and contacted authorities like the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry instead of just copy-pasting the reports submitted in some fancy papers.
A similar campaign was managed in the 90s that hugely affected the perception of Pakistan among the international audience. I would like to stress to the Government to take strict action against the fake news spreaders as it is very much a matter of National Interest.—PR