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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Specially designed bus for Maradona has a crack

Kolkata: The West Bengal government’s promise for a four-tier security for Diego Maradona appears to have a serious loophole even before his arrival in the city. The bus that has been specially designed to ferry Maradona from Kolkata airport to the hotel, has got a crack on its windshield. The bus is supposed to have bullet-proof glass all around. So, how come there was a crack in the bullet-proof glass?

The bus was kept at the Kidderpore tram depot where the fault was detected. The organisers tried damage control by putting on multi-colour tapes on the crack and were caught by some TV crews.

Surprisingly, state sports minister Subhas Chakraborty appeared nonchalant when asked about this at a press conference at the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club (CSJC) this evening. “It’s nothing serious. Even if a crack is detected it will be repaired properly and the bus will be there at the airport to receive Maradona. The alternative arrangement, a Sedan, will be used only if Maradona refuses to board the bus,” Chakraborty said.

Meanwhile, some of city’s top industrialists like Sanjib Goenka, Harsh Neotia are going to have an opportunity to shake the ‘Hand of God’ at a dinner on Saturday night. The dinner that will be hosted by the events management company Celebrity Management Group (CMG), will see the presence of the Chakraborty and Kolkata mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya as well.

“We have sent invitations to all sports organisations in the city as also to all political parties including the leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, Partha Chatterjee,” Chakraborty said.

Asked about the presence of eminent sports personalities like Sourav Ganguly during Maradona’s felicitation at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan (YBK), he said: “We have sent invitations to all of them. But I don’t know who will be present.”

Union external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate Maradona’s felicitation programme at the YBK and the soccer legend will be requested to start off the exhibition match there. Before the match, the players from both teams will be introduced to Maradona. The sports minister said there would 100 additional buses for the spectators from the YBK.



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