Former India captain and Member of Parliament Prasun Banerjee was felicitated by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Praful Patel at the Constitution Club of India here on Tuesday.
Also present on the occasion were AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das, AIFF Vice-President Subrata Dutta and all the Office Bearers of the AIFF.
Speaking on the occasion, Patel said: “This is a proud moment for Indian football. This is the first time that a former India captain and a footballer of Mr. Prasun Banerjee’s eminence has become the Member of Parliament.”
“This must be a crowning moment in his illustrious career. I am sure that his presence in the Government will help develop Indian football and I sincerely hope we can regain the past glory,” added the AIFF Supremo.
AIFF Vice-President Subrata Dutta added: “Prasun Banerjee’s contribution to Indian football has been immense. I would like to thank the West Bengal Chief Minister for backing Mr. Banerjee. It is an honour for entire Indian Football fraternity to have Mr. Banerjee in the Parliament.”
AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das echoed Dutta: “It is indeed an honour to felicitate a footballer of Prasun Banerjee’s stature. I wish him all the luck in his new endeavour as a Lok Sabha MP.”
Banerjee is the only Indian international footballer to be to be elected to the Lower House of the Parliament following the veteran midfielder’s resounding win over Left Front’s Sridip Bhattacharya by more than 27,000 votes. He contested the election from Howrah Lok Sabha constituency on a Trinamool Congress ticket.
“I thank the AIFF, Mr. Patel, and all members of the federation. It is a great honour to become the first footballer to be elected as Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha. I hope that my involvement in the government will help Indian football scale new heights,” Banerjee said.
Banerjee, an Arjuna Award Winner in 1979, was part of the feted midfield trio comprising of Parminder Singh (Right Wing), Banerjee (Central Midfielder) and Prasanta Banerjee (Left Winger). The creative midfielder from Bengal was an integral part of the Indian football team which reached the Quarter-Finals of the 9th Asian Games, 1982 in New Delhi.
Banerjee is also the younger brother of legendary footballer and of one of the first Arjuna Award Winners PK Banerjee.
(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)