Pakistan, India to resume football ties

National team will tour neighbours in August for two-match series.

Afp July 18, 2014


Pakistan’s football team is set to tour India for a two-match series, said officials on Thursday, as the two nations resume their rivalry after a nine-year hiatus.

The last time the two sides met was in 2005 when India toured Pakistan for a three-match series, which resulted in one win for each side and a draw, though the hosts scored more goals.

Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Secretary Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi said the team will play both matches in the southern Indian city of Bangalore.

“We have been making all-out efforts to revive football ties with India,” said Lodhi.

“We hope that these matches will prove to be a landmark in the sports relations of the two countries.”

Pakistan team will visit India from August 16 to 21 and play matches on August 17 and 20 in Bangalore.

India cut all bilateral sporting ties with Pakistan in the wake of 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The PFF attempted to play against India in England in 2011 but the plan was shelved after sponsors backed out. A triangular series in England, involving India, Pakistan and Bangladesh was also cancelled last year due to lack of funds.

When India toured Pakistan the first match at Quetta ended in a 1-1 draw while India went in front with a 1-0 victory in Peshawar.

Pakistan won the third and final match Lahore 3-0, taking the series on better goal average.

India, a cricket mad country, has shown greater interest in football after introducing the Super Football League to be held in September this year.

But both India and Pakistan lag at the bottom of the Fifa team rankings released after the World Cup in Brazil this week.

India are 151st in the world, while Pakistan languish at the 165th place.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2014.

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