Sporting Khalsa and Punjab United will play a pre-season friendly ahead of South Asian Heritage Month, which will run from July 18 to August 17. The match will take place at Sporting Khalsa’s home ground in Willenhall. The two teams have faced each other before at the Diversity Football Festival. Punjab United, which plays in the Premier Division of the Southern Counties East Football League, won the Kent Senior Trophy last season. Jas Batt, sporting director at Sporting Khalsa, said the fixture built on the clubs’ “blossoming relationship”.
Sporting Khalsa will host Punjab United in a celebratory pre-season friendly, days before the start of South Asian Heritage Month. The two teams will meet at Sporting Khalsa’s home ground in Willenhall ahead of South Asian Heritage Month, which has grown considerably in recent years and runs between July 18 and August 17.
The sides have faced each other in recent years at the Diversity Football Festival, including at Punjab United’s Steve Cook Stadium two years ago, in a friendly tournament that also featured Sporting Bengal United and Leicester Nirvana. Khalsa sporting director Jas Batt told Sky Sports News: “It’s really exciting to welcome our brothers and sisters from Punjab United to the West Midlands for this exciting pre-season clash.
“We’ve enjoyed a very good campaign and Punjab United have just come off the back of cup success by winning the Kent Senior Trophy, so there is plenty for us to celebrate together. Both clubs showcase so much of what’s right about our game. This fixture builds on our blossoming relationship with Punjab United.”
Sky Sports News understands discussions between the two teams about playing a friendly ahead of the new season advanced during a recent FA faith and football event, which also saw a first-of-its-kind timeline and display documenting the history of South Asian heritage female players go on display at the home of English football.
Punjab United play in the Premier Division of the Southern Counties East Football League, and enjoyed a fairytale end to last season by lifting the Kent Senior Trophy. Jayden Hussain scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 win for Punjab United over Deal Town at Maidstone United’s Gallagher Stadium.
Sporting Khalsa, who were founded in 1991, have a rich history of promoting South Asian heritage in football. The club was named after the Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Gurdwara in Wolverhampton, and its crest features a khanda, a symbol of the Sikh faith.
The club’s first team players have worn kit featuring the names of inspirational South Asian figures during previous South Asian Heritage Month campaigns, including Mahatma Gandhi, Malala Yousafzai and Jaswant Singh Khalra, who campaigned for human rights in Punjab, India.
South Asian Heritage Month was created to celebrate and promote the contributions and achievements of the South Asian community in the UK. The month-long event features a range of cultural events, exhibitions, and activities across the country, showcasing South Asian history, arts, and culture.
Both Sporting Khalsa and Punjab United have been active in promoting diversity and inclusion in football, and the pre-season friendly is a testament to their commitment to building bridges between communities and celebrating diversity in the sport.