Kolkata lays out red carpet for FIFA chief
Apr 14, 2007 - 3:15:16 PM
Kolkata, April 14 - This soccer-mad city has virtually laid out a red carpet for international football federation - president Sepp Blatter, who is to arrive here Saturday night on his maiden India visit.
The VIP road, which connects the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport to the city, is wearing a festive look with giant cardboard cutouts of Blatter prominently displayed.
Rajarhat and Gopalpur Municipality have built a stage in the shape of a football where Blatter will be felicitated.
It is learnt that All India Football Federation - is spending around Rs.5 million on the visit of Blatter and his entourage comprising around 100 officials.
Blatter has altered his schedule in the city. He was earlier expected to land here Sunday morning but will now arrive at 8.45 p.m. Saturday, said Indian Football Association - secretary Subrata Dutta.
The FIFA president will visit the 'big three' -- Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting clubs - besides watching the Mohun Bagan-East Bengal National Football League derby at Salt Lake Stadium Sunday.
Ticket prices have been reduced to Rs.10 to attract a bigger crowd, said AIFF president Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi.
Blatter will pay homage to Gostho Pal, a legendary Mohun Bagan captain and winner of the Padma Shri.
Blatter's next stop will be Delhi, where he will meet President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and some corporate heads.
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