Sunday, July 21, 2024

Pakistani workers earn only Rs 160 per ball despite producing 70% of the World’s Footballs

One of Sialkot’s 1,000 factories produces more than two-thirds of the world’s footballs, including the Adidas Al Rihla, the official ball of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which begins this month.  

Approximately 60,000 people, or 8 percent of the city’s population, work in the soccer ball manufacturing industry in Sialkot. They frequently put in long hours and sew the panels of the balls by hand.  

In Sialkot, hand stitching is used in more than 80 percent of soccer balls produced. This time-consuming method increases the soccer ball’s durability and aerodynamic stability. Compared to stitches made by machines, the seams are deeper and the tension is higher.  

Bloomberg reports that stitchers make about Rs. 160 ($0.75) per ball. It takes three hours to finish each one. A stitcher can make roughly Rs9,600 per month by stitching three balls per day.  

The earnings are modest, even for an impoverished area. According to researcher estimates, Sialkot’s monthly living wage is close to Rs 20,000.  

Women make up the majority of those who sew the balls. They might sew two balls in a typical day, go home to prepare meals for their kids, and then go back to work in a nearby village in the late afternoon. Usually, men prepare supplies or do quality checks at various phases of the production process.

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