Blackburn back out of Indian tour

Blackburn Rovers have postponed their pre-season tour of India after last week’s bomb blasts in Mumbai.The Indian-owned English Premier League club said on their website that they were unwilling to take the risk after the terrorist attacks which killed 20 people and injured 133 others in the nation’s financial capital.

Blackburn, who are owned by the Indian Venky’s company, said in a statement: “The board and the owners have agreed to reschedule until such time as further risk assessments and appraisals have been undertaken.”

The trip, which would make Blackburn the first Premier League side to tour India, is now expected to take place at a later date, the club added on their website.

“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 in India in a few weeks time.”

According to sources at Venky’s, Scotland Yard issued a letter advising the team against travelling to India.

Rovers were to play an exhibition match against I-League team Pune FC on Friday, before taking part in an under-16 inter-city tournament on Saturday.

The club’s squad will now travel directly to Hong Kong for the Barclays Asia Trophy from July 27, which also features Chelsea, Aston Villa and local club Kitchee.

Venky’s had made security arrangements in Pune in an attempt ensure the safety of players and staff.

Chirag Tanna, head of operations for Pune FC said: “I wish they would have come. This is very disappointing for us and to all their India fans as well.”