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Check out Pakistan's contribution to the 2014 FIFA World Cup...

Last updated on: May 22, 2014 11:14 IST

Check out Pakistan's contribution to the 2014 FIFA World Cup...

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The words Pakistan and football are rarely used together in one sentence. Other than a few friendlies and SAFF tournaments, Pakistan’s name rarely features on the football map.

But when a small-time Pakistani businessman, Khawaja Akhtar experienced true football fever at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, he knew he had to be involved with the ‘beautiful game’ in some way.

And this is how Pakistan's bond with football strengthened, even if only, slightly.

Last year Akhtar finally got his chance to manufacture the ball for the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be played in Brazil. He had 33 days to make things happen and here is how he scored big for the biggest soccer tournament on the planet.

Rediff.com gives you an inside view of the soccer ball factory in Sialkot, in eastern Pakistan, that produces the official match balls for the World Cup…

Employees conduct a final check to fix any cavities in the seams of balls inside the soccer ball factory that produces official match balls for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, in Sialkot, in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

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Photographs: Sara Farid/Reuters

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Khawaja Masood Akhtar, CEO of Forward Sports, which manufactures the official World Cup ball, speaks at his football factory in Sialkot. 

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Photographs: Sara Farid/Reuters

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An employee adjusts outer panels on a soccer ball at the football factory that produces official match balls for 2014 World Cup in Brazil, in Sialkot. 

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Photographs: Sara Farid/Reuters

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An employee collects ball panels from a machine that applies adhesive at the edges inside the football factory that produces official match balls for 2014 World Cup in Brazil, in Sialkot. 

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Photographs: Sara Farid/Reuters

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Employees work in the production area inside the football factory that produces official match balls for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, in Sialkot. 

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Photographs: Sara Farid/Reuters

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An employee takes finished balls out of the production area at the football factory that produces official match balls for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, in Sialkot. 


Photographs: Sara Farid/Reuters

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