Real-Barca legends game in Mumbai shelved

MUMBAI: An exhibition match that was to feature former Real Madrid and Barcelona legends, slated to be held in Mumbai on September 15, will not take place "due to unavailability of some players", the organisers said on Sunday.

"There has been some availability issues with the players, so as of now it's not happening on September 15. It will now be held tentatively in first week of October ahead of the World Cup," PTI quotes one of the organisers as stating.

The assertion seems highly optimistic however, considering that next month all the attention of football lovers as well as stakeholders will be on the U-17 World Cup, the first FIFA event India is hosting.

For the record, the Football Next Foundation had announced in May that legends of Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, featuring the likes of Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho, Nicolas Anelka, Luis Figo, Carles Puyol, Simao, Fernando Morientes and Michel Salgado would be playing an exhibition match in India in memory of Dutch legend and Barcelona star Johan Cryuff.

While the initial announcement, made in May at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, had said the game would be held in Kolkata on September 15, it was later declared that the game had been moved to Mumbai due to "logistical reasons".