The Al Rihla World Cup Ball is sold for $165 on the Adidas store, however the laborers that make them get around $0.75 per football
The official soccer ball for the biggest football event of the year, The Fifa World Cup was manufactured in Sialkot, Pakistan. However, do you know that the minimum wage for the laborers who make these footballs is only Rs. 160 PKR ($0.75)?
Sialkot is the hub for sports goods in Pakistan, and at least two-thirds of all footballs in the world are manufactured in the 1000 factories, including Adidas Al Rihla.
Despite making such a massive impact in the sports world, and being the core of it quite literally – the 60 ‘000 workers in these factories are deprived of their minimum wage.
The workers give in long hours, and sew each panel of the ball by hand. In the city, hand-stitching sports goods, especially balls, is a common habit. This is because the hand-stitching in comparison to machine sewn gives the balls a better durability and aerodynamic stability.
Hence, each ball takes up to 3 hours to finish. According to Bloomberg, keeping in consideration a laborers average pay, they can hardly make Rs 9600 a month. With the average expenditure in the city being Rs 20 ‘000, you can easily assess that it doesn’t even strike half of it.
Women among the laborer population are the ones who stitch most of the balls. Not only this, but despite being a breadwinner, these women go home to work and cook for their families too. Men on the other hand work on various phases of the production process and are severely under-paid as well.
On an average around 40 million soccer balls are manufactured and exported globally. The year of the World Cup increases the production and sales even more. So, despite such an exceptional sale annually, the question stands that why are the people in Sialkot factories severely under-paid and will any actions be taken to give them the rights they deserve?
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