Khan: India-Pakistan matches beneficial in every way

The Pakistan international striker wants the games to be used as a hotbed to attract sponsors to the game in this part of the continent...

Pakistan captain Muhammad Essa Khan believes that a greater number of India-Pakistan matches will help in improving ties between the neighbouring countries.  

His jubilancy comes in the wake of the Indian and Pakistani Football Associations agreeing to hold bilateral friendlies in the subcontinent as a measure to help warm the national sides up before the Asian Games.

Whilst improving ties was an important cornerstone for the organization of these ties, Essa hailed it as an opportunity to attract sponsors to the games as well.

“It’s beneficial in every way. I still remember in 2005, we were playing against India in Quetta and we had a crowd of 100,000. People were lined up outside the stadium as well. So there is a market for these matches,” explained the 30 year-old KRL FC striker, to The Express Tribune in Pakistan.

Khan was ecstatic when he explained, “We should play India every year because it will generate public interest in both countries. The emotion and spirit on both sides will prove this series a success.”    

So far, only two friendlies have been decided upon. Both will be held in the city of Bengaluru, on the 17th and 20th of August this year.

Khan also expected his team to win the ties pointing to the fact that Pakistan’s tryst with the Blue Tigers in the South Asian Football Associations (SAFF) Championship, the last time these teams played each other, resulted in a Indian win only due to an own goal that was conceded.