With the India-Pakistan friendly series upon us, A R Khaleel, the Karnataka State Football Association (KSFA) president has expressed his belief that this game will draw the interest of all football fans throughout India and Pakistan. He also unequivocally stated that fans shouldn’t pick sides, rather support both teams.
“It’s a big deal for us to be chosen to host the friendly matches. 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,” Elucidated Khaleel to Karachi-based The Express Tribune.
Khaleel opined that, after completing an exposure tour of the Czech Republic, the team’s practice matches against their neighbours will strengthen their preparation for the upcoming Asian Games in South Korea, this September.
Mirroring Khaleel’s views was, Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi, Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Secretary, who believed the Shaheens would benefit greatly from this tie.
“The aim is to give our team exposure. 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 Rs. 10 million on these practice tours before the Asian Games,” echoed Lodhi.
Coach Mohamed Shamlan and his team will depart for India on 15th August, after which they will tour Bahrain, with three matches already scripted in to the itinerary.