In Pictures: PM Modi Graces Indian Football’s Historical Moment
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted players of both, USA and India, ahead of their FIFA Under-17 World Cup match.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday graced Indian football's historic moment when he greeted players of both the teams before India's opening FIFA U-17 World Cup match against USA in New Delhi.
India is not only hosting it’s maiden FIFA tournament, but is also participating in a FIFA World Cup for the first time ever.
PM Modi, who arrived at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium after the first match of the day between Ghana and Colombia, went from the VIP dais to the playing pitch and shook hands with players of both teams.
The Indian team, on Friday, made history by becoming the first football players from the country to play in a FIFA World Cup.
The Prime Minister stood on the ground when the national anthems of India and US were sung.
Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, FIFA Secetrary General Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura, Asian Football Confederation President Shaikh Salman Ebrahim Al Khalifa and All India Football Federation Chief Praful Patel accompanied him.
The Prime Minister also honoured some of India's football legends, which include P K Banerjee, Syed Nayeemuddin, IM Vijayan, Bhaichung Bhutia, Sunil Chhetri and Bembem Devi. While Chuni Goswami's name was also mentioned, he did not attend the function.
Earlier, the government had planned to stage an opening ceremony before the kick-off but the world football governing body had expressed displeasure at the move.
The Prime Minister has been taking a lot of interest in the hosting of this U-17 World Cup and has been telling the countrymen in his popular radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat' about how this prestigious tournament could raise the profile of the sport in India.
The central government has also spent more than Rs 120 crore for this showpiece event.
(With inputs from PTI.)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.