Calcutta: East Bengal’s return will be marked with a series of felicitations planned around their win in the ASEAN Club Championship in Jakarta.
Not all plans have been finalised, but among them is a reception (not a civic reception) to be given by the Calcutta Municipal Corporation at the Corporation building with special reference to Bhaichung Bhutia, the top scorer.
This has been planned by mayor Subrata Mukherjee, a supporter of Mohun Bagan. The date has yet to be fixed, but will not be this month because preparations are on for the civic reception to Sourav Ganguly Wednesday.
The Indian Football Association is also planning “something”, according to Subrata Dutta, secretary. “No details have been worked out, neither has any date been fixed, but something must be done,” he said.
The state government wants to put in its own felicitation. While chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said: “Something will be done,” to show appreciation for East Bengal’s feat, state sports minister Subhas Chakraborty announced at Writers’ Buildings on Monday that a formal felicitation will be arranged for the team at Salt Lake Stadium.
The government will also arrange a dinner for players and officials of the club, the minister added.
No dates have been decided upon, but all this is unlikely to be before the Federation Cup ends (August 8).
The team returns late Tuesday evening by the Singapore Airlines flight.