Football fans in Pune are in for a big treat. Churchill Brothers will play their three home matches of AFC Cup at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex at Balewadi.
“This is a big boost for the soccer lovers in Pune as they will get to witness international players in action,” Mandar Tamane, Pune District Football Association (PDFA) official, told DNA.
Having been given a chance to play in the tournament after Dempo Sports Club pulled out, Churchill Brothers will face Indonesian team Semen Padang on March 12, followed by Singapore Armed Forces on April 2 and Hong Kong’s Kitchee on April 24. All the matches will kick off at 3 pm.
Churchill have been boosted by the recent signings of Indian captain Sunil Chhetri, Afghanistan striker Balal Arezou and former Pune FC player Lamine Tamba ahead of their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) campaign.
Dempo withdrew from AFC Cup after they found out that it was not cost-effective to play their home games outside Goa as the Nehru Stadium in Margao is undergoing renovation for this year’s Lusofonia Games. They were to play their home matches in Hyderabad and Pune, each costing them more than Rs10 lakh per match.
East Bengal is the other Indian side in the competition.