India’s biggest sport has always been cricket and will likely remain that way for a long time. It is quite debatable as to what is the second most popular sport in India but many will say football – especially if the question is asked in Bengal.
The beautiful game has a massive fan following in Bengal and one of the most popular and favorite football clubs in India is the East Bengal Football club. The club recently celebrated its 100th year anniversary and received a special congratulatory letter from Manchester United.
Man United Acknowledges East Bengal’s Rich History
Manchester United is one of the top clubs in the Premier League and was at one time the most popular football club in the world. Man United continue to be a major brand in the global football market and their acknowledgement of East Bengal’s 100th year anniversary is due to the partnership that the two clubs are trying to build.
The letter was sent by Man United to the General Secretary of the East Bengal football club. Manchester United said that they were aware of the rich history of the football club and the fact that the journey started way back on 01 August 1920. Man United congratulated the millions of East Bengal football fans and the club on its centenary celebrations.
The East Bengal football club is also set to make an appearance at the Indian Super League (ISL). Man United also recognized this and wished the club success during the ISL. The 2020-2021 edition of the ISL is expected to commence from 20 October 2020 and end on 08 March 2020.
Man United – East Bengal Partnership
Man United formed strong ties with the East Bengal football club and a four member delegation flew down to visit the club in November 2019. They inspected the Salt Lake Stadium to check out the facilities as there were talks to play an exhibition game in celebration of the 100th year anniversary.
The exhibition match between the Red Devils and the East Bengal football club was expected to take place in August or September 2020. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to cause problems in India, those plans have now been put on the shelf.
However, both sides appear keen to go ahead with the exhibition match once the coronavirus situation is brought under control. This will likely turn into a pre-season exhibition game that will take place during the first half of 2021, provided all goes well.
Man United Will Get Over 20 Crore Rupees
Football fans in India will be thrilled to see the Red Devils in action and you can expect a sell-out crowd at the Salt Lake Stadium. Man United are in talks to play East Bengal for an enormous sum of money. Reports suggest that the Red Devils will charge an appearance fee of nearly 24 crore rupees plus additional expenses which will amount to another 6 crore rupees.
While that is indeed a lot of money, East Bengal is willing to go ahead with the exhibition match to mark its 100th year anniversary. A match with Manchester United will do wonders to boost the brand value and image of the East Bengal club and get more fans to follow football in India.
East Bengal To Focus On ISL
For now, the East Bengal football club will have to put the exhibition game against the Red Devils on the back burner and concentrate on playing well at the ISL. East Bengal F.C. will have their hands full as there are some fantastic teams that they will have to beat in order to clinch the ISL championship. Two of those teams that will challenge them include 3 time ISL winners ATK who are from West Bengal and defending champions Goa.