Blackburn Rovers will become the first English Premier League side to play in India when they take part in an exhibition match in Pune next month, organisers said today. Rovers, owned by Indian poultry firm Venky's, were scheduled to play Pune Football Club in July, but the game was postponed following a bomb attack in Mumbai. The match will now be held on 7 October.
"We are very happy to host them," Pune Football Club director Nandan Piramal said in a statement. "The opportunity is great for the fans and on Pune FC's behalf I am happy to share this moment with the fans."
The English club had earlier announced they were also planning to establish a youth academy near Pune, 100km (60 miles) from Mumbai. India, seen as a massive potential market for football, recently hosted an international friendly between Lionel Messi-led Argentina and Venezuela in Kolkata.