India’s much awaited series of friendly matches with Pakistan and Bangladesh due to be held in England in June is yet to receive a go-ahead from the All India Football Federation (AIFF). The federation is awaiting a confirmation from the government before planning for the tour.
According to sources of The Telegraph, the AIFF has agreed to play the matches in principle but are awaiting the green light from the government regarding their match against Pakistan. Interestingly, Fulham are already selling the tickets on their official website!
“Though the match against Pakistan would be played at a neutral venue, we don’t want to take a chance,” an official said to The Telegraph.
The diplomatic tension that exists between India and Pakistan has taken its toll on many a sporting event being called off.
The Indian squash team was not granted visas to play in Pakistan and the Hockey India League (HIL) saw many players from across the border being denied the chance to play.
In the Asian cycling championships, the Pakistan cyclists had a difficult time in getting the visa. Early this week, the Pakistan paddlers’ applications for visa to take part in the Commonwealth table tennis championship were turned down by Government of India.
Moreover, the federation has confirmed that there are organizational issues that need to be ironed out.
“We have requested our agents to come to Delhi as soon as possible and finalise the entire programme,” an official said.
India is scheduled to play Bangladesh on June 1 followed by the game against Pakistan three days later. The Indians will face Bangladesh yet again on June 8 to mark the end of the tour. All of the matches are due to be held at Craven Cottage, home of Premier League football club Fulham.
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