PFF seeks bilateral football series with India

KARACHI: Pakistan will talk to India about the revival of bilateral football series between the two countries next week in New Delhi, said a top official on Thursday, 30 August 2012.

“If I got Indian visa, I would go to New Delhi to attend a seminar on football on September 4 and would also talk to the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) president about the possibility of a bilateral series between the two countries in near future,” PFF secretary Col Ahmad Yar Khan Lodhi told ‘The News’ from Lahore.

“It would be much better if they played a series against us in Pakistan,” Lodhi said.

He said every effort would be made to play a series with India. India last visited Pakistan in 2005 for a three-match series.

The same year India also played in Pakistan at the SAFF Cup which they won by beating Bangladesh 2-0 in the final played in Karachi.

Last year, a series between the two nations which was to be held in England was cancelled at the eleventh hour after the organisers failed to get the required sponsorship.

The bilateral sporting ties between the two nations were adversely affected by the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai in which over 100 people were killed.

Recently India invited Pakistan cricket team for three One-day Internationals and two T20s, which is expected to be held in December-January. Indian cricket board (BCCI) has sent the details of the venues to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The rivals have not played a series since Pakistan’s tour of India in 2007.

Pakistan football team last played in New Delhi in the SAFF Cup in December last year. But India did not invite Pakistan football team for the Nehru Cup being played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, it seems unlikely that the PFF will be able to convince Afghanistan to visit Pakistan for playing international friendlies on FIFA days, which fall on September 7 and 11.

“We are trying to contact the Afghanistan Football Federation but they neither receive our phone calls nor reply to our emails,” PFF secretary Col Lodhi revealed. “They may be avoiding official contact because most of their players are in Germany,” Lodhi observed.

Pakistan’s senior boys are currently undergoing training at Lahore. The camp will be closed on Friday (today) so that the players could join their respective teams for the Premier League starting from September 5.

From: The News