Following the indefinite postponement of the Pakistan tour of Palestine scheduled for end of this month, football fans across South Asia heard good news about a likely Pakistan vs India football friendly series to be played in July 2011 in UK with TouchSky Sports (TSS) organising this exclusive trip for the football-mad Asian community of Britain.
The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Director Marketing, Sardar Naveed Haider Khan, had earlier expressed hope of the All India Federation (AIFF) agreeing to play 3 matches against eternal rivals Pakistan in UK in preparation of the upcoming World Cup qualification Rounds 1 and 2 for Asian countries beginning in June-July 2011.
Pakistan face Bangladesh on June 29 and July 3 in Round One, with winning facing Lebanon in Round Two on July 24 and 28. India got a direct bye to Round Two where they will face United Arab Emirates (UAE) on July 24 and 28.
Today, the AIFF Executive Committee approved the UK Pak-India series and agreed to send in either its Olympic U23 side or their U21 ‘Indian Arrows’ side from the I League to help their young players get some much needed international exposure.
Following the approval, both the PFF and AIFF have sent in NOC requests to their respective Interior/Home Ministries for final approval to allow both federations to prepare for this landmark event.
The last time a Pak-India series was held was back in the summer of 2005 when India played Pakistan in Quetta (1-1), Peshawar (1-0 to India) and Lahore (3-0 to Pakistan) that was won by the hosts on goal difference.
Such a landmark series will not only help boost warming bilateral relations between the two countries, but also allow them to access the still untapped potential of the football-loving South Asian expatriate community thriving across many urban and metropolitan centres of UK.
Sardar Naveed Haider Khan also said that the players of both the teams would be seen by professional club scouts from all over UK and may be offered the chance to move there which will be great for the game in our region.
More news on the tour specifics will follow.