Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi met the India U-17 football team, that created history by becoming the first Indian team to participate in a FIFA World Cup, at the Prime Minister’s office in New Delhi on Friday.
The India U-17 team participated for the first time in FIFA U-17 World Cup by qualifying automatically for being the host nation. Modi met the team on their return from Saudi Arabia where most of them played in the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers.
On meeting the team, Modi said, “I personally requested for this meeting as I saw some spark in all of you. Based on your performance people have started knowing you so there is a huge responsibility on your shoulders.”
He further adviced the boys to stay together as a team and establish themselves as professional players. “Consider this U-17 World Cup as just a preparation for the future. I hope you stick together as a team and in 5-7 years time represent the country with great laurels”, he said.
“There is no life without sports. Football is a very intense game. Hope you can inspire people to inculcate sports as part of their daily lives,” added Modi, who was also present at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi during India U-17’s opener against the USA on October 6.
“When Jeakson scored the goal it gave the biggest reason for all of us to celebrate.”
The India U-17 team, along with India U-19 boys are now slated to ply their trade in the upcoming Hero I-League 2017-18.