India has given yet another example of how not to treat the footballing legends when they visit the country
In what was another example of shambolic organization after the disastrous handling of Luis Figo's appearance at the Youth Champions League in Goa, as the Brazilian legends refused to get on the bus to come to the stadium after the appearance fee for the exhibition tie was not taken care of in time.
The Brazilian Masters' match against an Indian Football Association XI was scheduled to kickoff at 2pm IST, but the players only entered the stadium around 2.55 pm to kickoff at 3.15 pm.
While the game was to be a 90-minute affair, the Brazilians refused to play more than 30 minutes in each half, with the final scoreline reading 3-1 in favour of the South Americans.
Beto [Churchill Brothers SC], Bebeto and Dunga on the scoresheet, while Dipendu Biswas pulled one back for the hosts.
The organisers had failed to pay the Brazilians ahead of the game and, as a result, the yesteryear stars protested by not leaving for the game.
"We had told them that part of the money will transferred once they board the flight from Sao Paulo. Once they reach Dubai, they can check their bank accounts. And the balance of the amount will be transferred once they reach Calcutta. But due to some technical problem the amount they were supposed to get by Friday was not showing in their accounts. There was some confusion but everything was okay, once we produced the debit note," Satadru Bose, of Omnibus, who organised the exhibition match, told The Telegraph.
West Bengal sports minister Madan Mitra blamed the organisers for their unprofessionalism despite being an active member in conceptualising the exhibition tie.
"There were some technical problems with the payment. There was some problem with the computerised transfer of funds and hence the delay. I have called for an internal meeting to sort out the problems with the issue of payment," Mitra said.
Tickets were made complimentary on the day of the game after there was not enough interest generation in the tie.
"Publicity did not happen as much as we expected and hence we had to make the tickets complimentary," Mitra explained.
Interestingly, Rene Higuita made an appearance only for the final 15 minutes of the game and the organisers covered it up by stating that the Colombian was suffering from a bout of food poisoning.