Ahead of the Word Cup semi-final match between India and Pakistan on March 30, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said that sports should not be mixed with politics.
Referring to Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's visit to Mohali to watch the semi-final match between India and Pakistan on Wednesday, Mukherjee said sports and politics must be treated separately and not mixed.
"This is a courtesy extended by our prime minister to invite the prime minister and president of Pakistan to witness the game between India and Pakistan. All of us are happy that the Pakistan PM has responded, but let us not mix politics with sports," Mukherjee said, adding that the occasion will help improve relations.
The India and Pakistan clash on Wednesday is a much-awaited match for fans of both teams, who claim that watching the semi-final would be as good as watching the World Cup final. India made a dramatic entry into the semi-finals this year, ending Australia''s 12-year run as World Cup champions with a thrilling five-wicket win in the quarterfinals while Pakistan beat the West Indies to reach the semi-finals.
India and Pakistan have faced each other four times in the World Cup. Though each time India has finished on top, none of the matches was smooth and lived up to the hype of a classic India-Pakistan encounter.
The World Cup final will be played on April 2 at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.