Indo-Pak friendly football series may be postponed

Lahore/New Delhi: The planned series between Pakistan and Indian football teams in the United Kingdom may be postponed or scrapped due to the Pakistan Football Federation`s (PFF) failure to find sponsors for the matches.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF), however, said that the three-match series is on track.

But sources close to the PFF had a different tale.

The PPF recently sent a detailed budget outlay for the series to a sponsor, but is still awaiting an answer.

"With time running out as the team has to leave for England on August 25 the issue of finding sponsors is getting more troublesome," one source said.

Another problem confronting the PFF was that it had still not submitted applications for visas to the UK High Commission in Islamabad for its national team players and officials.

"Normally the minimum time taken for processing visas by the UK commission is three weeks so that means the PFF is running out of time," the source claimed.

The sponsors noted that since the matches were being held in the UK -- in Manchester, Coventry and London -- there was little scope for them to advertise their local products.

Things, however, seem rosy as far is the AIFF is concerned.

"We haven`t heard of anything. Things are okay at our end. The only problem is that they wanted the dates to be changed a bit," AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said.

The organisers, TouchSky sports, have scheduled the series in the UK in a bid to tap the Indian and Pakistani nationals based in England.

The last three-match football series between the arch-rivals was held in 2005 in Pakistan.


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