Washington, DC - In partnership with U.S. Soccer, former U.S. national soccer team members Tony Sanneh and Lorrie Fair Allen will be traveling to Pakistan from June 24-July 1 (during the FIFA World Cup) as the State Department’s first Sports Envoys to Pakistan. Their U.S.-government sponsored trip is part of continuing American efforts to help youth in Pakistan develop skills to contribute positively to their communities.
The Sports Envoys will work with youth and coaches in Islamabad, Karachi, and surrounding areas, hosting daily clinics and motivational sessions for Pakistan’s diverse communities, including girls from underserved parts of Peshawar. Sanneh and Fair Allen will also connect with Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network (PUAN) members via a Facebook Live program.
In Karachi, the Sports Envoys will provide soccer skills training and convey messages of leadership, teamwork, and inclusion to multiple soccer clubs and academies, including several organizations dedicated to increasing sports inclusivity for girls and women. They will also join World Cup 2018 watch parties and engage with the media and fans in Pakistan.
The World Cup is an opportunity to showcase U.S. sports diplomacy while also providing people with an opportunity to learn about different cultures and connect with fellow soccer fans around the world. Since 2002, the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) has been harnessing the global passion for soccer, among the full spectrum of sports, to build bridges, reach out to new audiences, and promote inclusivity through its Sports Diplomacy office.