Lahore/New Delhi: In a surprise development, the two-match football series between Pakistan and India Under 23 side to be played in England next month has been postponed at the behest of commercial partners, Touchsky Sports.
In Lahore, Pakistan Football Federation marketing director Sardar Naved said that the two matches to be played on September 3 and 9 in Derby and Glasgow have been postponed after the two football federations got an email from Touchsky Sports on Thursday.
"They have said that the families of the three young Pakistani boys who were killed during the Birmingham riots and in whose memory the first match was to be dedicated had requested the series be postponed," Naved said.
"Touchsky sports have told the Pakistan and Indian bodies that the families have said they can`t attend the match until the 40-days period of mourning is over. The series stands postponed and new dates would be announced later on," Naved said.
"We are in touch with the Indian football federation which is as disappointed and upset as we are at this late postponement. The presidents of the two federations will now decide the next line of action," he said.
The decision of postponement came just hours after PFF announced the captain for the series. Adnan Farooq Ahmed was named the captain of the national team for the two matches.
In New Delhi, a top All India Football Federation official said that the tour is as good as being postponed for a future date though an official announcement will be made later .
"As of now, the tour is as good as postponed. We will make an announcement either tomorrow or day after," the official said.
The Pakistan squad was due to leave for England for the series tomorrow while the Indian side were to leave the country on August 27. The Indian team has been training in New Delhi for the last nearly a week.