The Premier League giants had reportedly agreed to play a game with East Bengal before the coronavirus pandemic halted the season.
English football giants Manchester United have once again expressed their interest in organizing a pre-season friendly in India according to the Manchester Evening News. Manchester United were reportedly scheduled to play a pre-season game in India against giants East Bengal as part of the centenary celebrations of the Kolkata outfit. Officials from the Premier League side had also reviewed the facilities at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata and given a go-ahead for the game.
However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the domestic season in Engkand was forced to be elongated and unfortunately, the historic tour stands cancelled. Richard Arnold, the Managing Director of Manchester United, revealed in a conversation with the Shiv Nadar Foundation how the club’s plans are governed by their fanbase.
“We don’t tend to think in terms of market. The fans are all part of a big family. India is an important part of our family. We have been organizing live screenings. For the first team to play in India, it has been on our minds for some time now. We planned to make a trip this summer, but we could not because of the COVID situation. But, we will try to make a trip to India in the future.” Arnold quoted as reported by Manchester Evening News.
It’s a well-known fact that Manchester United have one of the biggest fanbases in the country and with the advent of the Indian Super League and the arrival of the top players, a market has evolved for European super clubs to come to Indian shores. Players like Robert Pires, Alessandro Del Piero, Roberto Carlos, Dimitar Berbatov, John Arne Riise and Tim Cahill have plied their trade in the country.
Last year, Marca reported that India had made a bid to host the Spanish Super Cup, but in the event Saudi Arabia won the hosting rights.
India has already hosted some big tournament like the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017, in the year 2018, Kerala Blasters staged a pre-season tournament, involving LaLiga’s Girona FC along with Melbourne City FC from Australia.
If the tour comes to fruition, Manchester United will become the first Premier League side to play in India, which will excite the Red Devils’ fans in the country.