THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Blackburn Rovers arrive in India

Blackburn Rovers - India Tour 2011

Blackburn Rovers - India Tour 2011

English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers FC has arrived in India today for a three-day trip of the country. The Rovers will conduct several coaching clinics for Indian kids and face I-League side Pune FC in an exhibition match.

The English side, owned by Indian poultry giants Venky’s, reached Pune without nine regulars, who are on international duties this week for the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers.

The Lancashire-based team will be the first EPL side to play an I-League team, when they take on Pune FC at the Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, Pune on Friday.

German giants FC Bayern Munich were the first European outfit to play a team from the top tier of Indian football, which was founded in 2007. The Bayern team led by legendary Germany keeper Oliver Kahn faced Mohun Bagan AC in 2008 and won the match 3-0.

Rovers coach Steve Kean and his squad will enjoy support from a handful English fans, who flew out to India on Tuesday. Nine members of the official club’s fans forum and two other supporters took their flight to the Indian sub-continent with high hopes to experience an unforgettable time in Pune.

Pune FC was established in 2007 and they gained promotion to the 1st Division I-League in 2009. The “Red Lizards” finished 5th in the 2010/11 season and PFC coach Derrick Pereira can rely on the services of several stars of Indian football. India keeper Subrata Pal, rated as one of the best keepers in Asia, and India striker Jeje Lalpekhlua are just two of the stars in the team.

Football fans interested to attend the exhibition match on October 7 may secure their tickets at

The match is scheduled to kick-off at 18.30 IST (15.00 CET / 14.00 GMT).