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East Bengal seeks sponsors for Man Utd friendly

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Indian I-League team East Bengal is looking for sponsors to pay the appearance fee for Manchester United for a friendly that the English Premier League team has agreed to play later this year.

The friendly is pencilled in for July 26 and will be part of East Bengal’s centenary celebrations and Manchester United’s pre-season tour of Asia. A Manchester United delegation approved the match venue of East Bengal’s Yuvabharati Krirangan Stadium in Salt Lake, Kolkata during a visit in December.

Indian media reports said the Premier League team was seeking an appearance fee in excess of Rs30 crore ($4.2m).

East Bengal executive member Debabrata Sarkar told the Press Trust of India: “After May we can decide whether they would play or not. As of now we are busy with finding a new [sponsors].”

The club’s deal with its current main sponsor, business services firm Quess Corp, expires at the end of the 2019-20 season and will not be renewed.