Kolkata: The football-crazy city's dream date with Manchester United and Juventus is very much "on track" after the state government on Tuesday apprised the All India Football Federation of the proposed marquee clash between the two European clubs on August 1. (Agencies)
"This match will be held only after AIFF's approval. There was a communication gap (with the AIFF). But, everything is fine now," West Bengal Sports Minister Madan Mitra said at the Writers' Buildings after talking to AIFF secretary Kushal Das over phone.
Mitra further said he would discuss via video-conference with the world's most popular club, Manchester United's Global Sponsorship Director Casper Stylsvig and Juventus Commercial Director Francesco Calvo on either June 7 or 8 to chalk out the nitty-gritties for the match.
"We now have to get in touch with the (Union Sports Minister) Ajay Maken. We don't want to let go of this golden opportunity. I don't think we will get to see a match of this magnitude in the next 50 years," Mitra added.
Mitra was reacting to AIFF Vice President Subrata Dutta's reaction that for an international match to be conducted, it is required to take a permission at least two-and-a-half months in advance.
"We are not yet consulted in this matter. Without the AIFF and Sports Ministry's consent, one cannot organise such a match. It is required to take permission at least two-and-half months in advance," Dutta said.
The match is being organised by a Bangalore-based sports management firm with headquarters in UK that refused to be quoted.
"As we wanted to organise this in Kolkata, the mecca of Indian football in India we approached the state government first. It's going to be a huge thing, so there will always be hurdles. But we will overcome them," a top official of the firm said.
He said they hope to ink the deal with both the teams after the video conference.
"As per deal both the teams would send their first XI players including Wayne Rooney of the Red Devils and Gianluigi Buffon of the Serie A champions. We don't want to compromise on quality," he said.
"The date is important as both the team's top players would be available on August 1."
Letters regarding this were sent out to the state government by Stylsvig and Calvo of both the teams as Mitra replied with a set of guidelines that included a clause that required persmission from AIFF and IFA.
The firm also has plans to hold a football carnival, clinics, practice sessions and a gala dinner with Bollywood celebrities, FIFA bigwigs and directors of top clubs as the appearance fee by the most popular club is estimated to be around USD 2 million.
Earlier, there was a similar report about a likely match between Barcelona and Inter Milan, something that did not see the light of the day due to "shortage of time".
If the Rooney vs Buffon clash materialises it would be another rare treat for city's football afficiandos who had witnessed the Lionel Messi-led Argentina take on Venezuela in a FIFA international friendly at the 120,000 capacity Yuba Bharati Krirangan on September 2 last year.
Kolkata: The football-crazy city's dream date with Manchester United and Juventus is very much "on track" after the state government on Tuesday apprised the All India Football Federation of the proposed marquee clash between the two European clubs on August 1.