East Bengal in talks with multiple European giants for exhibition game in Kolkata
East Bengal are currently in talks with reigning European Champions Liverpool, French Champions Paris Saint-Germain, and Bundesliga defending Champions Bayern Munich. The talks are in line with the club's plans to host an exhibition match as part of its centenary year celebrations at the Salt Lake Stadium in 2021.
A source close to the Indian giants confirmed that the club is in negotiations with the three European heavyweights over an opportunity of playing a game in the eastern hub of India some time in July, saying:
“We have had talks with Liverpool football club and Bayern Munich. PSG have also shown interest. After all, it is our centenary year celebration and we want to give our fans a match to remember."
“The pre-season Asia tour of all the three clubs will be around June and July 2020 so we can expect them to visit India and play a match in Kolkata."
Here's what the official replied when asked if the European giants in question will be bringing in their full-strength squads (if they do come):
“Of course. East Bengal is no small club and they will play with their full team.”
The humid weather in the city during July, however, could play spoilsport, deterring the top stars from the teams from coming to the country.
The official, on the other hand, was unperturbed with the prospect of the weather being a deterrent, saying:
“I don’t think that will be an issue. Even a member of the Celtic football club had visited us this month and seemed more than happy with the conditions. So I don’t think it will be a concern."
India seems to be a favorable destination for European clubs in the bid to expand their global market, with Liverpool also interested in offering technical support to the I-League club, as confirmed by East Bengal executive committee member Debabrata Sarkar, who said:
“Liverpool have shown interest in offering technical support to our club, from grassroots football to holistic development. However, we are still looking at the terms and conditions and depending upon that we will take a call soon. If if we can rope them in then Indian football will surely reap its benefit.”Published 02 Jan 2020, 23:06 IST