The confusion over the number of matches making up the India-Pakistan tour of UK still prevails despite a meeting held between the two sides on Monday.
While Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) confirmed that two matches – and not three as originally planned – will be held, the All India Football Federation (AIFF), in response to PFF’s claims, confirmed to The Express Tribune that only one match will be played.
The PFF Director Marketing and Event Organisation Sardar Naveed Haidar, after the latest set of discussions, has said that the matches will be played on September 3 and 9, the AIFF Secretary Kushal Das is still uncertain about the second match.
“We had the meeting on Monday and we decided to play one match with Pakistan,” Das told The Express Tribune. “Our second match on the tour is against Scotland’s under 21 side and we’re still unsure about the third match. It may be against England’s under-20 or Pakistan, we don’t know yet.”
Meanwhile, another AIFF official has said that India will not send its first-choice players as a lot of senior players will not be accompanying the squad.
The postponement of the series, according to the official, has been disappointing and many seniors may not participate due to the pressure from their local clubs as the domestic season starts from September 16.
“Had the series taken place in June as planned, the matter would’ve been different,” said the official.
Meanwhile, Haider confirmed that Pakistan will leave for England on August 29 while, according to AIFF, India will arrive in England on August 26.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2011.