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Indian PM Narendra Modi: India had a glorious history in football

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi releases commemorative postage stamps on the 2014 FIFA World Cup

The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi released commemorative postage stamps on the 2014 FIFA World Cup yesterday.

Speaking on the occasion, he said sports brings about a spirit of amity and belongingness among nations of the world. May the FIFA World Cup become a bridge for connecting nations together, he said.

Stating that India is preparing to host the FIFA U-17 World Cup, the Prime Minister said India had a glorious history in football, and it was at one time a prominent sport across the country. He urged the Department of Posts to also develop a website on the history of Indian football.

Commemorative postage stamps on 2014 FIFA World CupStressing on the need to inculcate the love of sports among children, Modi said – “jo khele, wo hi khile” – Sports helps in all-round development of a child. Referring to the term “Sportsman Spirit”, the Prime Minister referred to the toil and penance of countless sportspersons across the world, which resulted in this term getting such universal acceptance and recognition in a positive sense. If there is no sport, how can there be sportsman spirit in society, Modi asked? He said “Sportsman Spirit” is a lubricant for the health of the society, which is essential for it to prosper.

The Prime Minister observed that commentary, especially radio commentary, probably played a key role in enhancing the popularity of cricket, and the art of commentary should be developed in other sports as well.

The function was attended by several prominent sporting icons including Indian national football team captain Sunil Chhetri, K. Malleswari, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Sushil Kumar, Ajit Pal Singh, Chunni Goswami, Subrat Bhattacharya, and Kirti Azad. Praful Patel, President, All India Football Federation, and Anurag Thakur were also present on the occasion. Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal also spoke on the occasion.