Maradona's Kolkata visit rescheduled to November


KOLKATA: Argentine football legend Diego Maradona's visit to Kolkata has been put off yet again, with the police refusing permission for the event the footballer was scheduled to participate in.

Local police authorities in Kolkata have denied the event permission due to security issues as his trip, scheduled for 8 and 9 October, would clash with the ongoing FIFA Under-17 World Cup. Maradona was slated to play an exhibition match against city's cricket icon Sourav Ganguly, titled "Dada v Diego Match for Unity", in Barasat.

An official statement from the organisers sai, "While all of us tried our best, the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup and other issues meant security can't be offered to Diego in the manner required," the statement said. "It is impossible to go ahead with the high profile visit on October 8 and 9." They add that the event has now been pushed back to November. Maradona himself posted on his official Facebook page, "My dream is to visit Kolkata one more time, but everything was changed for November! This land always moves me, because there, Mother Teresa cared for and educated so many poor children. That's why I want to take them my football, because I think the ball makes you want to live... I will be there in November."

"I will participate in all the scheduled events, to be with the people and the authorities. See you soon India!!!" Maradona's post added.

The footballing icon was originally scheduled to visit the city on 19 September, which got postponed to 2 October, rescheduled to 5 October and then to October 8. According to the original programme, Maradona was also supposed to attend a day long football conclave, 'Goal 2017', organised by the India Today Group on 3 October.

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Maradona to attend Kolkata conclave in October

Picture courtesy: The Telegraph, UK