Calcutta: East Bengal captain Mehtab Hussain said his team is confident of beating Semen Padang in the first-leg of the AFC Cup quarter final at the Salt Lake Stadium, on Tuesday.
“Yes we are confident of beating them. But at the same time we are not over-confident. We have a set team with most of us playing together for the last four seasons. The induction of James Moga and Ryuji Sueoka have also bolstered our team. So we should be able to beat them,” Mehtab said at the post-match media conference on Monday.
Mehtab refused to believe that East Bengal are not ready yet for a match of this stature. “Why? We had a good pre-season. Our new coach (Marcos Falopa) and the physio (Falopa’s son Americo) have worked really hard in improving our fitness. We have prepared very well for this match,” he said.
Much to the chagrin of fans, there will be no live telecast of the match on Tuesday.
The marketing partner of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), who are responsible for negotiating deals with broadcasters, could not rope in one.
“It’s frustrating that tomorrow’s match will not live on television. We tried to convince the marketing partner of AFC to allow us to find a broadcaster but they were too stubborn,” East Bengal secretary Kalyan Majumder said.
The marketing partner though blamed it on low interest in the region. “Star Sports are the rights holders for AFC Cup and have opted to not produce the East Bengal game tomorrow due to low interest in the region” a WSG spokesperson said.