Pune FC to play exhibition match against Blackburn Rovers
In a historic first for Indian football, English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers will play against Pune FC in an exhibition match on July 22 in Pune.sports Updated: Jul 13, 2011 13:07 IST
In a historic first for Indian football, English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers will play against Pune FC in an exhibition match on July 22 in Pune.
The tie will be played at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, the home ground of Pune FC.
The Lancashire-based side's trip to India will be the first ever by any English Premier League squad to the sub-continent, making Pune FC the first Indian club to face an EPL club.
"The game is a landmark encounter for Indian football fans and we are happy to be part of this treat both - Rovers and we have lined up," said Pune FC Director Nandan Piramal.
"We are equally excited and honored to be the first team from India to play this game that revolves around inscribing history. The match provides a golden opportunity for fans to not let go of this once in a life time chance."
Rovers will feature regulars such as Chris Samba, Paul Robinson, David Dunn, Brett Emerton, David Hoilett, Jason Roberts, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Michel Salgado, Martin Olsson, Steven Nzonzi and Ryan Nelsen.
Pune FC, on their part, will field their new signings made for the upcoming season, and are confident to live up to the challenge.
For Steve Kean's squad, the stopover will be the first on its twin nation visit to the Asian continent.
Following the friendly against Pune FC, the English side will proceed to East Asia on July 27 and 30 for the EPL's Asian Trophy in Hong Kong, along with Aston Villa and Chelsea.
The 135-year-old club is one of the oldest and among the most reputed, not only in the United Kingdom, but also in the world. Rovers, in the past, were league champions in 1995 when Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton formed the squad.
With Pune FC already based in the city, Rovers' Pune sojourn also marks their first visit to the base of their owners - Indian poultry giant Venky's.