Diego Maradona is all scheduled to kick off the football carnival in India during his September 18-19 trip, about a month ahead of the City of Joy’s historic date with FIFA U-17 World Cup Final.
This will be the second visit of Maradona to Kolkata after December 2008.
The 1986 World Cup winner’s has confirmed his trip in a video-conference call with the promoter of the trip and said that he is very excited to visit West Bengal after nearly 10 years.
Maradona said, “It is such an honor for me to be able to make this trip. Kolkata is a very special place and I have good memories from my trip there many years ago, the fans were fantastic.”
“India is a very passionate football nation, and I look forward to meeting a whole new generation of fans while continuing to spread the overwhelming love that I have for this beautiful game,” he added.
The two-day visit to Kolkata will be unusual and vital as the 56-year-old icon will play a charity football match against city’s favorite son and former India captain Sourav Ganguly on September 19, the day of Mahalaya that marks the beginning of Durga Puja festival.
Satadru Dutta, who is the partner of 7d Ventures and Founder of Moksh Sports Ventures, the promoter of Maradona’s trip told the reporters, “This will be called the ‘Match for Unity’, and will not be an 11-a-side. We will try to ensure that Maradona remains in the spotlight. Besides Ganguly there will be a host of other celebrities. We are finalizing the venue.”
The West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will felicitate footballer during the event.
Dutta said,”It will be followed with an award show where Maradona will be given the Lifetime Achievement award by the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee.”
“We will also be having a football workshop with budding young talents as well,” he added.
An app-based laundry services Dhulaiwala, will sponsor the trip as the Argentine legend will be seen inaugurating the Dhulaiwala palace.