Pakistan produce 70% of world’s footballs but how much are football makers paid?

Around 8% of Sialkot population works in this industry
<p>Photo: AFP</p>

Photo: AFP

The Al Rihla World Cup ball is listed for $165 (around Rs37,000) on the Adidas website, although the workers who produce them are only paid around $0.75 (around Rs170) for each ball.

In Sialkot, the industry that makes footballs employs over 60,000 people, or around 8% of the total city population.

They put in plenty of extra time and effort, often by hand sewing the ball panels together. The balls are more long-lasting and aerodynamic when hand-stitched rather than machine-stitched.

According to Bloomberg, the average wage for a laborer is Rs160 ($0.75) per ball. Each of them requires three hours to complete.

A stitcher may support themselves by sewing three balls each day, which would make them around Rs9,600 per month.

The majority of the balls are stitched by female laborers. These women not only work outside the house as breadwinners, but also provide for their families by cooking and cleaning.

In contrast, male laborers are in a variety of production roles are also grossly underpaid.

Worldwide, 40 million footballs are sold every year, and that number is only expected to rise during the World Cup.



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