Manchester United congratulated East Bengal after the Indian football club completed 100 years and also took their first steps towards the 2020-21 season of the Indian Super League (ISL).
In a letter addressed to East Bengal’s General Secretary Kalyan Majumder, the Red Devils sent their best wishes to the club.
“We would like to hereby congratulate East Bengal Club and the millions of East Bengal fans for its centenary year celebrations. We are well aware about the rich history of your club and its colourful journey since 1st August 1920,” the letter stated.
“We must also thank you for the wonderful experience we had during our recent site visit to your club at Kolkata, India.
“We are also happy to know that all the efforts will be made to see East Bengal figuring in this season’s Indian Super League and we hereby send our best wishes for your new journey. All the very best for the bright future of the club,” it added.
Reacting to the letter, Debabrata Sarkar, a senior executive of the club spoke to the indianexpress.com and said, “Before the pandemic set in, there were talks of playing a game with United. We are still very much planning on having this match (hopefully if the situation improves in our country.) Talks are still on.”
Earlier, Manchester United had given the green light for a pre-season friendly against East Bengal in 2020. Talks were in place for an exhibition match that would be held at the iconic Yuvabharati Krirangan Stadium in Salt Lake, Kolkata.
Last year in November, a four-member delegation from the United had arrived in the city and met state sports minister Aroop Biswas at Nabanna. Allan John Dawson, Manchester United’s director of football, Christoffer Laurens Komen, director of tours and friendlies of the club and officials Philip Malcolm Smith and Matthew Charles Jones were part of the four-member delegation.
The MUFC delegates visited the Salt Lake stadium and expressed satisfaction about the facilities at the stadium. They did not raise any objection over the security levels either. But the ongoing coronavirus pandemic stopped all further proceedings.