ISLAMABAD: Following a nine-year hiatus, Pakistan and India are set to battle it out on the football field in August as part of a two-match bilateral series.
The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) announced on Wednesday of succeeding in scheduling the series, in an effort to revive the sport between the neighbouring countries and traditional rival.
The Pakistan team will visit India from August 16 to 21, and play matches on August 17 and 20.
PFF Secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi said the series was being held after nine years, which showed that India was also eager to play against Pakistan for the betterment of the game.
An Indo-Pak clash is no lesser than the Ashes, he added.
Talking to APP on Wednesday, Lodhi said the series would prove to be a landmark in sports relations between the two countries.
“Pakistan and India last played a three-match series here in June 2005, which [we won] on goal-average,” he said, adding that the upcoming series was a return series.
In 2011, an English company planned a football series between Pakistan and India in England. However, it was cancelled at the eleventh hour after failing to receive sponsorship.
In 2013, a triangular series in England, involving India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, was cancelled due to the same problem.
“Pakistan will also be playing a series against Bahrain from August 22 to 30 there, which shows that the PFF is doing its best for the game and to give exposure to the players,” he said.
Lodhi said Pakistan would also host the first ever SAARC Women’s Football Championship.
Dilating on the difficulties faced by the PFF in promoting the game, Lodhi said,” We are still using equipment that was used 100 years ago. Now the game of football has become very fast and in order to keep [up the] pace with it, we need money.”