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Pakistani businessman in race to buy Chelsea. Peshawar Zalmi, London Zalmi float as new names

New Delhi: After the return of international cricket with Australia’s tour of Pakistan, sports fans in the country are now excited about a possible acquisition of premier football club Chelsea by Peshawar businessman Javed Afridi.

36 year-old CEO of Haier Pakistan, Javed Afridi, who is also the owner of Pakistan Super League team Peshawar Zalmi, is in the race for acquiring the Fulham-based iconic club that is over a 100 years old now. The club is currently valued around $2.5 billion.

Chelsea, which is the eighth most valuable club in the world of football, according to a report by Deloitte, is currently owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. He has reportedly put Chelsea up for sale as pressure mounted over his position after the Russia-Ukraine conflict that broke out last week. According to reports, Afridi could face tough competition from Swiss billionaire Hansjoerg Wyss who claimed to have received an offer from Abramovich.

Pakistanis are giving all kinds of emotions on the news — shock, joy and surprise. And there is no dearth of memes on the possibility of Afridi buying Chelsea. He’s suddenly become Pakistan’s ‘golden boy’, for the Twitter crowd.

Unable to hide their excitement, some Pakistani YouTubers were convinced that the deal was almost done.

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Two anchors at Geo TV were also unable to hold calm while breaking the news to the viewers. The female anchor read the news, claiming that this is a “badi khabar“. “Are you interested in buying Chelsea?”, asked the male anchor jokingly to the female anchor, who went on to say that if the deal happens, it will be “amaze”.

While some Pakistanis were clearly intrigued to know how a fellow countryman is earning so much money, a user wrote that if Afridi really had this much money, Pakistan would have taken the loan from him instead of the IMF.

Some wondered whether Chelsea will have a new name now—London Zalmi or Peshawar Zalmi.

There have also been comparisons with his PSL team which hasn’t been performing well, and fear that Chelsea will have the same fate.

“Pakistani billionaire businessman Javed Afridi is purportedly in the race to buy Chelsea football club and his team will issue a statement on this matter shortly,” said Pakistan Daily in a report.

According to Khaleej Times, Javed Afridi’s team held a meeting Wednesday with a sports and legal agency in the UK. “There’s a bunch of investors who are interested in Chelsea Football Club. They believe it’s the right time and opportunity to invest in football. And someone from Asia should come and invest. They are in a negotiation with them right now”, the report quoted a source.

Source: The Print

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