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Wednesday, 21 March, 2001, 00:05 GMT
Pakistan footballers' first international outside subcontinent

The Pakistani football team is due to play its first match outside the Indian sub-continent later today Wednesday against the second division English club, Bury. The club recently signed Bhaichung Bhutia, the first Indian-born footballer to play for a professional team outside of Asia.

The Pakistani team is also due to meet the Premier Division side, Coventry.

The aim of the programme is to encourage football among the Pakistani community throughout the world.

The Pakistani Football Federation says it arranged the matches against Coventry and Bury because both have a large Asian community of Pakistani origin. The Pakistani squad consists of twenty players, and has come to England to prepare for what football officials say is an important part of the build-up to World Cup qualifying games in May.

Pakistan is in the same group as Sri Lanka, Lebanon and Thailand

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