LONDON, England, July 20 – Blackburn Rovers have postponed this week’s pre-season trip to India following the deadly attacks in Mumbai which claimed the lives of 20 people, the club confirmed Tuesday.
The Indian-owned Premier League outfit said they would reschedule the trip, which was to include a friendly match in Pune on Friday, for some time later this year in light of the violence in Mumbai.
“The trip is not cancelled it is postponed to another date because of the activity out there,” manager Steve Kean said.
“The board had a meeting with the owners and spoke and decided we had to go through a number of different checks and that trip will now take place at the beginning of October.”
Kean denied the decision to postpone the trip was the result of opposition from members of the Rovers squad.
“The players are looking for guidance and as long as everything was explained to them they were fine as a group,” he said.
“I think the owners would have been disappointed if it was totally finished but the fact it has been put back a couple of weeks softens the disappointment.”
Blackburn, who were bought by Indian poultry giant Venky’s in November, would have become the first Premier League team ever to play in India when they faced Pune Football Club.
The English club also recently announced they were planning to establish a youth academy near Pune, 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Mumbai.
A statement from Blackburn and the club’s owners said the attacks in Mumbai had left them with “no option.”
“Safety is always our top priority and after detailed discussions with our security and legal advisors we have been left with no option other than to postpone,” the statement said.
“While everyone is obviously disappointed, we all accept the circumstances and the reasoning. We are now looking forward to the trip to India in a few weeks club.”