Former India hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay, popular Bengali actor Abir Chatterjee and cricketers Manoj Tiwary and Deep Dasgupta are among those who have confirmed their availability for the charity match to be played here involving Argentine legend Diego Maradona, the organisers said.
Mohun Bagan forward Sony Norde and the club’s former greats Chima Okorie, Jose Ramirez Barreto and Odafa Okolie will also be rubbing shoulders with the 1986 World Cup hero.
Maradona is expected to be in the eastern metropolis between October 2-4.
The former Napoli star, in his second trip to the football-crazy city, will lock horns with former India captain Sourav Ganguly on October 2 in an exhibition game, titled ‘Match for Unity’.
The exhibition match would be held at the Aditya School of Sports in Barasat.
“The non-football stars will be introduced one by one after the first 30 minutes maybe. We want serious football to be played in the first half hour. The idea is to give everyone a chance to rub shoulders with Maradona,” Satadru Dutta, partner of 7d Ventures and Founder of Moksh Sports Ventures, the promoters of Maradona’s trip, told IANS on Wednesday.
Former India players Prasun Banerjee, Carlton Chapman and Dipendu Biswas will also take part in the match.
It was learnt that former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia has also been approached and the organisers are awaiting his response.
There will be a football competition between 21 Durga Pujas during the festival next month, the winners of which will receive the prize from Maradona. This tournament will be held on August 20.