AIFF confident of Messi playing in Kolkata

Kolkata: Quelling doubts over Argentine football star Lionel Messi` participation in a FIFA international friendly match here Sep 2, a top All India football Federation (AIFF) official on Saturday exuded confidence that the game will be held as scheduled.

"I don`t know why people are expressing doubt over the fate of the match. It`s nothing unusual that is happening. Everybody is keen to have this match and I cannot see any problem that exists so far as the match is concerned," said AIFF senior vice president Subrata Dutta at a football magazine launch here.

"The organisers along with all other entities concerned are working hard to ensure the people get to see the match as scheduled. The approval of FIFA for the match is on its way. The FIFA president (Sepp Blatter) has sent a message to the organisers wishing them luck. I do not see any reason why this match will not happen," Dutta said.

The national team of Argentina will take on the national team of Venezuela in a FIFA international friendly match at Kolkata`s Salt Lake Stadium Sep 2. Argentina will also play Nigeria Sept 6 in Dhaka.

On the issue of the AIFF`s team Indian Arrows playing in the Calcutta Football League (CFL), Dutta, who is also the vice president of the West Bengal apex body Indian Football Association (IFA), said: "In order to play, they will have to get affiliation from the IFA for which they have to apply before March 15. But I am not sure whether they want to play in the CFL.

Dutta launched a dedicated monthly football magazine `90 Minutes`. The inaugural issue, which will come out in July contains an interview of Dutch football star Giovanni Van Bronckhorst.


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