ManU-Juventus match under cloud
Kolkata: The much-hyped Manchester United`s trip to India for a friendly against Juventus here was cancelled, a British media report claimed, though the Bangalore-based organisers insisted that the match was still on and a contract would be signed "within a week".
The scheduled video conference today with the officials of the famed clubs to work out the details about the proposed August 1 match was cancelled by the state government, with the official reason cited being the absence of a signed contract.
"We did not want any confusion with the AIFF. So, we did not hold the video conference without a signed contract," state sports minister Madan Mitra
He said that he had not seen the UK media report and promised to go through it, but insisted "we are keen on the match though it has to be organised within the rules and regulations".
A Press Association report in London today said that Manchester United officials had confirmed that "no trip to India will be incorporated within United`s pre-season schedule."
With a headline `Manchester United rule out pre-season trip to India`, it said the reports suggesting the Red Devils high-profile friendly with Juventus appeared to be "false".
Incidentally, Juventus` pre-season programme only listed a match against USA`s DC United in Washington (on July 28), Paris Saint Germain in Montreal (July 31) and Real Madrid in Las Vegas (August 5).
The Red Devils, according to their website, face Shanghai Shenhua in Shanghai (July 25) and Norwegian outfit Valerenga in Oslo (August 5).
Dismissing the reports in the British media, the organisers, a Bangalore-based sports management firm, however, said, "The match is on. Give us two-three days and we will come up with official documents."
A top official of the firm said they were going to UK to sign the deal with Manchester United.
"There will be issues when you do something big. This is going to be huge, so there will be hurdles. But we know what we are doing."
If the match materialises, it would be another rare treat for city`s football aficionados who had witnessed the Lionel Messi-led Argentina take on Venezuela in a FIFA international friendly at the 120,000-capacity Yuba Bharati Krirangan on September 2 last year.