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Rediff.com  » Sports » Blackburn Rovers to play exhibition match against Pune FC

Blackburn Rovers to play exhibition match against Pune FC

July 13, 2011 17:02 IST

In a historic first for Indian football, Pune FC will host English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers in an exhibition match on July 22.

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 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 for the upcoming season, and are confident to live up to the challenge.

For Steve Kean's squad, the stopover will be the first of 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.

With Pune FC based in the city, Rovers' Pune sojourn also marks their first visit to the base of their owners -- Indian poultry giant Venky's.