It is estimated that at least 1,000 football manufacturers are located in the city of Sialkot in Pakistan, where over 70% of the world’s soccer balls are manufactured, according to Business Insider.
This extensive manufacturing is carried out in a tiny city in the northeastern region of Punjab province, where it is a significant source of revenue for the city, which has a population of approximately 60,000 people.
The demand for footballs has dropped dramatically as a result of the Coronavirus, according to Waseem Shahbaz Lodhi, managing partner of Bola Gema Pakistan, which produces 160,000 balls per month. “Playgrounds are closed, there are no matches, and people don’t have the space to play football,” he explained. As a result, purchasers have reduced demand by 70 percent.”
Workers at Bola Gema Pakistan’s soccer ball manufacturing facility are responsible for every step of the ball’s production. Their responsibilities encompass everything from cutting and moulding hot rubber sheets to patching together the 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons that make up the shell of a ball.
Lodhi went on to say, “Because the industry has been operating for almost a century, our level of perfection in our abilities is incredible.”
Furthermore, FIFA-approved soccer balls, such as those produced by Bola Gema, can sell for more than $100 in the United States, which is more than the monthly wages of some of the workers who manufacture them in Sialkot, and Pakistan exported more than 37 million soccer balls ahead of the 2018 World Cup, which took place in Russia.
meantime, Brazilian company Bola Gema has already started producing soccer balls in preparation for the Qatar World Cup in 2022.
However, business is slowing down these days as a result of the suspension of team sports due to the pandemic, and Lodhi is concerned about the well-being of his employees. “Even though we have been back home for two to three months, the proprietors of Bola Gema have continued to pay us. “As a result, we weren’t concerned,” Saeeda Bibi, an employee at the Bola Gema plant, said.