East Bengal are in talks with European giants Liverpool, Bayern Munich and PSG among others for an exhibition match as part of its centenary year celebrations at the Salt Lake Stadium in 2021.
In November 2019, a four-member delegation from Manchester United had met the Kolkata club’s officials and visited the Salt Lake Stadium. However, sources close to the East Bengal also revealed that talks are also on with Liverpool and Bayern Munich.
“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,” an official said, on condition of anonymity.
“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,” the official said.
When asked if the first team of Liverpool and Bayern will come to play, the official said, “Of course. East Bengal is no small club and they will play with their full team.”
But the humid weather in the month of July could be a problem for European stars.
“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,” the official said.
When Manchester United delegation, led by Director of Football Allan Dawson, came calling a couple of months ago, they had expressed satisfaction with the facilities.
East Bengal began their centenary celebrations on July 31, 2019 with a march from Kolkata’s Kumartuli area to the club ground at Maidan.
Liverpool to offer technical support to East Bengal
East Bengal executive committee member Debabrata Sarkar said that Liverpool have also shown interest in offering technical support to the red and gold club.
“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.”