There was news over the last few days that English Premier League giants Manchester United could take on Italian Serie A champions Juventus Torino in a friendly match at the Saltlake Stadium in Kolkata on August 1. In informal communication with both clubs, my contacts have denied any such match taking place, though they are showing interest to play in India in the future if their match fees and other amenities are taken care off.
Manchester United have confirmed now officially to journalist colleagues in the UK at Press Association Sport that there would be no match this summer in India as the club is still to announce their final plans for the summer friendlies which is likely to include China and South Africa besides a match in Norway against Valerenga Oslo on August 5.
This comes just a couple of days after West Bengal Sports Minister Madan Mitra announced that talks were ongoing with Manchester United and Juventus to sort out everything before the match was finally announced though no clearance was sought from the AIFF.
Speculation surrounding such a match comes just weeks after a match between FC Barcelona and Inter Milan was supposed to be played in Kolkata on May 19, the day of the UEFA Champions League final, with the match called-off weeks after it was supposed to take place.
This once more leaves Indian football or organisation of international matches in India in bad light.
Published with permission from Arunava about Football.