Round Balls, Round World
Thousands of people gather annually to witness one of the world’s largest sporting events, football. Though many flock to the games, do they ever stop to think about where the ball in the game came from? Do they ever wonder who puts the work behind the hand-stitched, starch-white football? Commonly known as “Soccer”, Football has been shaping the lives of thousands around the world. Excluding the athletes and spectators who enjoy the sport, there are those who produce the products for the sport as well. In Sialkot, Pakistan, hundreds of human laborers slave over the creation of these footballs. The fact is that these people, human laborers, are the very same people that control the city’s economy and globalization.
A Place for Birthing Balls:
Have you ever stopped to think about how a ball is made? Every single ball that comes out of Sialkot, Pakistan, is made by hand. (Buse, 2006) If one was to stop and inspect a soccer ball, one would notice that it is a sewn piece of work. Upon further inspection, one would also find that there are 32 panels that are sewn together to make a ball (Salmon, 2006). Each panel, an equal-sized, hexagon-shaped piece made out of leather or plastic, is sewn to other panels to create a ball (Casagrande, 2006). One can only imagine the amount of time average laborers living in Sialkot spend on making one of these balls. What most people fail to realize is that it can take up to three hours to make a single ball (Casagrande, 2006). An even bigger realization is the fact that 80% of the worlds soccer balls are made in Sialkot, Pakistan, with the exception of Chinese manufacturing companies beginning to override Pakistan business (Fazl-e-Haider, 2007).
The people responsible for birthing soccer balls are usually young boys who are as young as 13 years old (Morley, 2006). This, of course, is an infraction to the child labor policies maintained by international companies that promote equal...