India Lose to Pakistan in AFL International Cup
India were humiliated 101-7 by Pakistan in a first-ever meeting of Australian Football League (AFL) teams of both countries in a friendly-match called 'Dosti Cup'.
The match, played yesterday, was one of the highlights of the 2014 International Cup.
A team of 15 AFL players have flown from India to play five matches here, while Pakistani team players were all Melbourne based.
Dignitaries from both country's consulates and leaders of both communities were invited to witness the match.
This was the first time Pakistani team had participated, while India had participated in previous years as well.
AFL Victoria engagement manager Xavier Moloney said the International Cup match was another example of how football can break barriers between cultures.
"To have a Pakistan vs India game as part of the International Cup is really exciting and is part of an overall push from AFL Victoria to introduce the game to culturally diverse sections of Melbourne.
"We've had in a place a steering committee for a few months now with members representing Richmond FC, Essendon FC, the AFL, AFL Victoria and members of the Indian and Pakistani communities, to make sure the event is a success," Moloney said.
"The support of Essendon FC and Richmond FC in this venture has been fantastic with both clubs embracing the chance to engage with the multicultural community," he added.
AFL Victoria Multicultural Coordinator Kashif Bouns, who was also the founder of the Pakistan team, said: "The Dosti Cup is about bringing the Indian and Pakistani communities together and generating positive relationships through football but victory is still very much the aim for both sides.
"Growing up in Pakistan, when we played India in anything it was always a huge event, where people would take the day off to stay home and watch whatever sport was on offer," Bouns said.
The 2014 AFL International Cup will continue in Melbourne till Aug 23.
The participating teams in the men's section are from Canada, China, Fiji, Finland, France, Indonesia, Ireland, Great Britain, India, Japan, Nauru, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Sweden, Tonga and USA.
While in women's category, the competing nations are Canada – Northern Lights, Canada – Midnight Suns, Ireland, Fiji, Tonga, USA – Freedom, USA – Liberty.
AFL International Cup is played every three years. The previous winners of the event were Ireland (2002 and 2011), New Zealand (2005) and Papua New Guinea (2008).
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