KARACHI: As Bangalore gets ready to host Pakistan for a two-match series, Karnataka State Football Association President AR Khaleel has urged the crowd to support both sides.
According to Khaleel, football is a popular sport in Bangalore, and hosting the matches on August 17 and 20 at the Bangalore Stadium will spark great interest amongst fans.
“It’s a big deal for us to be chosen to host the friendly matches,” Khaleel told The Express Tribune. “We are not only expecting a large crowd but also a very supportive one that will cheer for both teams. People in our state would love to see both teams provide a good game.”
Khaleel added that the Indian side recently returned from Prague after a practice tour, and the friendlies with Pakistan will further help their team prepare for the Asian Games.
Similarly, Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Secretary Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi said that the friendly series is a good training opportunity for Pakistan as well. After the tour in India, the national team will leave for Bahrain, where they will play three matches.
“The aim is to give our team exposure,” said Lodhi. “India are a very competitive side and ahead of us in Fifa rankings, but we’ll try our best to win there. We’ll be spending around Rs10 million on these practice tours before the Asian Games.”
Lodhi said that the national side is currently practicing in Lahore and will depart for India along with, coach Mohamed Shamlan, on August 15.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2014.
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