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India vs Pakistan Series in England cleared

The three match India vs Pakistan football series will go ahead and will now be played in August/September 2011 in England with Manchester, Coventry and London being the host cities.The two sides are set to arrive in England on August 25 and stay in En...

The three match India vs Pakistan football series will go ahead and will now be played in August/September 2011 in England with Manchester, Coventry and London being the host cities.

The two sides are set to arrive in England on August 25 and stay in England until September 11. The matches are likely to be played on August 27 in Manchester, on September 3 at the Ricoh Stadium in Coventry and at West Ham United‘s home Upton Park in London on September 9.

The tour is being promoted and organised by TouchSky Sports out of London, who have dubbed the tour as the ‘Clash of the Titans – India-Pakistan UK tour’.

AIFF president Praful Patel said about the tour, “Playing Pakistan is always special. It’s a positive sign that we will play a bilateral football series against Pakistan. I’m sure all sporting fans are eagerly looking forward to it.”

This is the first ever football series between India against Pakistan at a neutral venue. The last time the two Nations were involved in a three-match series was in 2005 across the border in Pakistan.

Ahmer Kunwar, a Director at TouchSky Sports, said, “It gives me immense pleasure in organising this epoch-making tour. The tour would provide the Indian and Pakistani Nationals based in England a chance to witness their native teams in action at the ‘Home of Football,’ England.”

Initially the tour was planned for June, but then pushed back to July with the Government of India also not issuing the NOC (No Objection Certificate), necessary for such matches against Pakistan, even though it is on neutral territory. Now it is going ahead, but it is not clear what side will represent India with a trip to the Caribbean looking likely for the senior team in September which could clash with the England Tour.

India meanwhile will return to England after nine years. India played nine matches over three summer tours (2000, 2001, 2002) and I fondly remember those as having been part of all of them, especially the first one in 2000 when India played FC Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Bangladesh was a historic trip.

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