While the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) announced that the national side will play just one match against India in England, the Indian federation is preparing for a full three-match series as planned.
According to an All India Football Federation (AIFF) official, the India team is training keeping in mind the full schedule, the dates of which would be finalised on Monday, and not an abridged one that the PFF confirmed.
“As far as we’re concerned, we’re committed for three matches,” the AIFF official told The Express Tribune. “However, we are hearing rumours that Pakistan are only interested in playing one match. For us, the tour means a lot. Going to England for just one match isn’t worth it.
“We had decided that the series will start on August 25, but now we’ve heard that it’s starting from September 5. That leaves us with little time because we need to get back before September 16 when our domestic season starts.”
PFF might revert to original schedule
While the two parties rue a communication gap, the PFF has a different story to tell as their director marketing and event management Naveed Haider said that the two countries will play their first match on September 3 in Derby.
Haider said on Thursday that the team will leave for the UK on August 29 for the one-off match before taking on two local clubs. However, keeping the original schedule is mind, the PFF might send the team on August 25 to end the confusion.
“I’ve communicated to the organisers in the UK that we are ready for three matches,” said Haider. “We might have to revert to the original schedule and play our first match on August 28.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2011.