To mark East Bengal’s 100 years of existence, English Premier League giants Manchester United could be seen playing a pre-season friendly against the I-League heavyweights in July end or August first week next year.
Four Manchester United officials visited the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Friday to check on the infrastructure, and were left impressed. They will now talk to their management back in Manchester and get back on whether to take on the red and golds next year.
“As part of the centenary celebrations, East Bengal Club are in talks with Manchester United and have given them a proposal to play an exhibition match in India next year.
“In this regard, Allen J Dawson (Football Director at Manchester United) and Christopher L Komen visited our club and undertook a recee of the infrastructure. They also held discussions with club secretary Kalyan Majumdar and senior executive committee member Debabrata Sarkar,” the club said in a statement.
“They were very impressed with our facilities. They also went to the Salt Lake Stadium. Now they will take a call and let us know whether to play a friendly with us,” the club’s executive committee member Debabrata Sarkar told IANS.
Reacting to the development, I-League CEO Sunando Dhar told IANS: “If they come, nothing like it. East Bengal are one of the biggest clubs in India and they are celebrating their 100 years. A match against Manchester United would be just ideal.”
East Bengal will take on Real Kashmir in their I-League opener at Kalyani in West Bengal on December 4.