While it is still all very hazy here about Argentina’s arrival and their schedule thereafter, Kolkata is gearing up in full swing for the September 2 friendly between Argentina and Venezuela.
Argentine football coach Alejandro Sabella and goalkeeper Estaban Andrada along with 15 officials arrived in Kolkata town yesterday morning heightening the football fever that has already gripped the mega city.
The Argentines got a rousing welcome at the airport as they headed straight from the airport to the team hotel near the Juba Bharati Krirangan. The huge stadium at Salt Lake City has assumed a new look for the highly anticipated encounter.
The arrival of the advance team has seen a huge boost in the sale of tickets. Most of the tickets of the 120,000 capacity stadium in Salt Lake City has been sold out, according to a source in Kolkata.
Five Argentine officials — Pernas Oscar Alberto, Diego Iacovone, Marcelo Dandrea, Pablo Blanco and Mario Destefano — had arrived in the first batch of the squad on Sunday.
The organisers there, the celebrity management group along with the Indian Football Association, are making elaborate plans to greet football’s biggest star and his comrades.
Organisers have even invited politicians, industrialists and celebrities to attend the match. Cricket legend Sourav Ganguly, Bollywood stars Ranbir Kapoor and Rahul Bose to attend the match have been invited while chief ministers of neighbouring states Meghalaya, Mizoram and Jharkhand have also expressed their wish to witness the match, said Dharamdutt Pandey, chief executive officer of the game’s organiser Celebrity Management Group (CMG) to a daily in Kolkata.
Meanwhile, football business has been brisk as well in and around Kolkata. The demand for the Albiceleste T-shirts has skyrocketed while that of another crowd favourite, Manchester United have seen a slack in the wake.
Courtesy of The Daily Star