AIFF to seek technical help from Argentina

New Delhi: All India Football Federation is likely to approach its Argentine counterpart for technical help to upgrade standard of the game in the country when its top brass meet a visiting delegation during the international friendly between Argentina and Venezuela in Kolkata on September 2.

Dharamdutt Pandey, Chief Executive Officer of Celebrity Management Group which is organising the match, said here that a meeting between the top football officials of two countries is being arranged.

"We had received a request from the AIFF officials about a meeting with Argentina Football Association (AFA). We got in touch with AFA and we have received a positive response.”

"They have asked us to fix a date during that particular period where they can meet the AIFF president, vice-president and general secretary. The basic idea will be to seek technical expertise in order to upgrade the standard of football in our country," Pandey said during a promotional event here.

Indian national team players were given complimentary tickets for the international friendly.

A whopping Rs 22 crore is being spent for this friendly that will feature superstars like Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez and AIFF vice-president Subrata Dutta justified the

Let`s make it clear. Although a Kolkata derby between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal attracts 100,000 people but the public which watches those matches are mostly from the lower income groups. A corporate sponsor is hardly interested with that particular strata," Dutta stated.

"When you have a Lionel Messi playing in India, the business houses are ready to invest. So those who feel that these kind of heavy expenditure is needless are simply jealous that something good is happening," he added.

Dutta also informed that renovation work at Salt Lake Stadium is going on war footing and will be completed at least four days before the match.

Pandey, on his part, admitted that they have lowered the price of lowest denomination tickets to Rs 700 after state sports minister Madan Mitra "requested" them.

"We explained to him (Mitra) about the heavy expenses incurred but since he requested, we lowered the denomination from Rs 1000 to Rs 700. Also we would be giving 15 free tickets to IFA affiliated clubs as well as some selected school teams," he said.


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