EPL's Blackburn Rovers to make Indian stop-over to play with U-16 boys

English Premier League football club Blackburn Rovers will be entertaining East Asian fans on 27 and 30 July when it participates in the EPL's Asian Trophy in Hong Kong, along with Aston Villa and Chelsea.

Now, South Asian fans will get to see stars of the game on 23 July as Blackburn Rovers players make a stop-over in India to play alongside local U-16 players in a special youth tournament final series in Pune.

Tournament details were announced by Balaji Rao, a Director of Venkateshwara Hatcheries Group, parent company of Venky's which bought the north English team late last year for 46 million pounds.

"The company is committed to elevating footballing standards in India. This event is an attempt to develop football at the grass-root levels and create opportunities for young Indian footballers," he said.

Blackburn Rovers players will play alongside Indian boys by dividing themselves among the final eight teams from the cities of Goa, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune.

"This will give the youngsters a chance to play alongside 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," Rao said.

The finals will also be attended by Blackburn Rovers scouts who will choose two boys for a 2-week training at the Blackburn Rovers Academy in Brockhall in the United Kingdom.

Venky’s reportedly approached the All India Football Federation to arrange a game for Rovers against an Indian selection and also the United Breweries Group about playing a friendly against East Bengal Club or Mohun Bagan AC.

According to Sports Keeda, the AIFF is said to have declined the offer as the potential dates of 22 to 24 July would not be possible as India plays its away tie in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against the United Arab Emirates on 23 July.

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