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09-29-2009, 12:34 PM #1
Salman football match in Kolkata called off
Salman Khan's friendly football match on Kolkata's Mohammedan Sporting Grounds on Saturday was cancelled when thousands of spectators ran onto the field.
Worried for his security, the actor rushed off the field and returned to his hotel, and closeted himself indoors, refusing to emerge even for his press conference later that night.
The match was a promotional event for Wanted, to be played between Salman Khan's led Wanted XI and the Dipendu Biswas led Mohammedan XI. The organiser of the football match Sunil Hazra of Digitech says, "The fans went crazy!
People came from hundreds of kms from outside Kolkata in trucks, tempos and buses just to watch Salman Khan. There were over 700 policemen and security personnel but against a 30,000-strong crowd, they were no match. Salman had changed in the dressing room and had just joined the teams on to the ground.
The game was just about to start, when the crowds broke through the barricades and started pouring onto the field screaming "Salmanbhai! Salmanbhai!" The actor was immediately escorted out under the cover of heavy security and the match was cancelled."
Producer Boney Kapoor, who'd accompanied Salman to Kolkata says, "The security measures were more than adequate, nobody anticipated such fan frenzy. Salman went to Kolkata after almost five years and both his fans and the media went into a tizzy! The crowds jumped the fence and ran on to the field.
The whole scenario became quite scary and we had to abandon the match because of some enthusiastic fans who went berserk. The Salman fever was unprecedented in Kolkata."
It has been reported in local papers that Salman ran away from the venue after seeing the over-enthusiastic media - a claim rubbished by Boney's son Arjun, "The whole situation was dangerous. Some people even fell on the ground because of the frenzy.
Though the stadium capacity is about 20,000, there were more than 10,000 people outside the grounds. The moment Salman entered the stadium there was chaos on the pitch. We never thought it could become so dangerous in a split second. Unfortunately, the match had to be cancelled or it would have been good fun."
Even though the match never took place, Salman was presented by the club jersey as a memento and an honorable life membership of Mohammedan Club.
09-29-2009, 12:57 PM #2