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Blackburn to face Pune on summer India tour.

Dubai Venky's Poultry, owner of Blackburn Rovers, is taking the English Premier League club home to Maharashtra, India for a friendly against Pune FC.

The match will take place at the Balewadi Sports Complex on July 22 with up to 10,000 tickets available.

The clash is believed to be the first between an I-League outfit and a Premier League side.

Blackburn start their tour of India next week and also begin grassroots development projects, becoming one of the few European clubs to do so in this untapped market.

Excited and honoured

Pune director Nandan Piramal said: "The game is a landmark encounter for Indian football fans and we are happy to be part of this.

"We are equally excited and honoured to be the first team from India to play this game."

The likes of Chris Samba, Paul Robinson, David Dunn, Brett Emerton, David Hoilett, Jason Roberts, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Michel Salgado, Martin Olsson, Steven Nzonzi and Ryan Nelsen could play, providing fans a mix of international stars.

For Pune coach Derrick Pereira it will be his first match of pre-season. He is expected to field a number of new signings.

Venky's caused a stir shortly after their Blackburn takeover in October by sacking coach Sam Allardyce while the club was punching above its weight in 13th position. They installed unknown Steve Kean and finished the season 15th.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 14, 2011
Words:246
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