Manchester United, East Bengal likely to play exhibition match in 2020

The exhibition match will be a part of the centenary celebrations of East Bengal and Manchester United's pre-season Asia tour in July 2020.

An aerial view of the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.   -  K.R. Deepak

If everything works out, East Bengal in its centenary year celebrations will play an exhibition match with English Premier League giant Manchester United at the Salt Lake Stadium next year.

A four-member delegation from Manchester United, led by Director of Football Allan Dawson, met the red-and-gold club officials and West Bengal sports minister Aroop Biswas on Friday.

They also visited the Salt Lake Stadium and expressed satisfaction at the facilities, East Bengal executive committee member Debabrata Sarkar said.

“This was a preliminary inspection and they will submit a report within 10 days based on which we will go forward. Then we will work out the financial logistics,” Sarkar said.

It is learnt that the appearance fee for the Red Devils is a whopping Rs 24 crore, plus other extra expenses which will make it a Rs 30-crore affair.

If it works out, this match will be a part of the centenary celebrations of East Bengal and United’s pre-season Asia tour in July 2020.

East Bengal began its centenary celebrations with aplomb on July 31 with a march from Kolkata’s Kumartuli area to the club ground at Maidan. A galaxy of stars, including World Cup winning cricket captain Kapil Dev, were felicitated.

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