India's dream date with Pele and other former World Cup stars on January 23 has been put off because of "unavoidable circumstances", the organisers said on Sunday.
Amid much fanfare it had been announced that Pele would return to Kolkata as an ambassador of Superstars XI also boasting compatriot and two-time World Cup winner Cafu. The Superstars XI were scheduled to play an exhibitional friendly against an Indian Dream XI led by Bhaichung Bhutia at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan and the ticket sale of the event had already started.
The Delhi-based organisers, JPR Events, in a press statement, said they would announce a new date by next week. But, according to insiders, it's unlikely that the city would get to witness the 71-year-old Brazilian legend more than three decades after he had enthralled a capacity crowd touring with New York Cosmos.
"We regret to announce due to unavoidable circumstances the match originally scheduled in Kolkata on January 23 has been postponed to a later date. The new date will be informed to you in the next week," the organisers said.
The organisers further said that they would organise another match between a still-to-be-named World Star XI and Sikkim United XI in Gangtok on January 22.
"However we will still be having a match in Gangtok, which will feature some of the players originally scheduled to make the trip who will be joined by some former Indian stars."