Huge facelift needed for hosting Messi match
Kolkata: The hype around Lionel Messi playing an international football friendly here is becoming bigger by the day but the venue where the much-anticipated match will be held will need a huge facelift to host it.
Realising the `messy` state of affairs at Yuba Bharati Krirangan the West Bengal government on Wednesday decided to work on a war footing to ensure that the high-profile FIFA friendly between Argentina and Venezuela is held without any hiccup on September 2.
This the state Sports Minister Madan Mitra said after a meeting with the organisers of the match, Celebrity Management Group, officials of AIFF and IFA.
"Right from goalpost to artificial turf, the stands ... everything is in a state of mess and not fit to hold the match as of now. But we are giving our best effort to make it suitable for the FIFA friendly," Mitra said after the meeting.
"We`ll take stock of the situation by visiting the ground with the officials from AIFF, IFA and CMG. The artificial turf is not in a suitable condition and it will be repaired and made fit for the match," he said.
The meeting, however, failed to decide on ticket prices that were reported to be ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000.
Mitra said the price of tickets was too high and they would try to lower it.
"Let everything gets ready and then we will decide on the price of the tickets. Hopefully the sale of tickets will begin from the second week of July."
Mitra clarified that there was no involvement of the state government in organising the match and it was just providing the venue free of cost.
On participation of world`s most-sought after footballer Messi, Mitra said, "Messi will definitely play here. But there is no confirmation on FIFA President Sepp Blatter`s arrival."
He said the match will be telecast live in 156 countries.