Govt plans to make ticket affordable for Messi

Kolkata: In its effort to make ticket prices `affordable` for the friendly between Argentina and Venezuela, involving star footballer Lionel Messi, the West Bengal government is planning to introduce dedicated family blocks wherein tickets would be available at discounted price.

"We are planning to introduce a family block in Yuba Bharati Krirangan from this match. With this a family can buy out tickets at a discounted price," sports minister Madan Mitra on Tuesday.

After a meeting with the All India Football Federation and Indian Football Association, Mitra said they have also requested Doordarshan to telecast the match live so that everybody gets an opportunity to watch the action.

Some problems, however, remain over the minimum denomination of ticket price, as the Rs 1,000 suggested by the event managers was termed a little too `high` by the state government.

"We are not the organisers so we cannot decide on that. Of course, to see Messi in action comes at a price, but Rs 1,000 is a little too high," Mitra said.

Asked about the renovation work of the artificial turf, which was deemed `unsuitable` for such a high-profile match, Mitra said the work would begin soon.

"The agency which laid out the turf agreed to do it for free. They would smoothen the surface. The work will take about four weeks` time, so it will be started accordingly."

Mitra also discussed parking and security arrangements for the match.


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