PM Modi hopes FIFA U-17 WC will transform Indian football

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hopes that FIFA U-17 World Cup will spark the transformation of football in India. He urged parents and teachers to encourage their wards to play football.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes, with encouragement from parents and teachers, the country's children can take Indian football to greater heights.   -  PTI

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hopes that FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 would transform football in the country.

In a press release, on Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi said the competition can spark a monumental change in India.

"India is going to host the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017, but successful hosting of the event alone cannot be our final objective. FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 must be a catalyst for change, the tipping point for football in the country, which can only be done by creating a mass movement around it. The objective is to give an opportunity to every child in the country to play football."

He said the "Mission XI Million", FIFA's initiative to reach out to school kids, will take the sport to "at least 11 million boys and girls around the country."

"Children in every state, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Kutch to Kanyakumari will get a chance to learn, play and enjoy football. More than 15000 schools around the country will be partners in this," he added.

"We need the support not just of children but also of every parent and every teacher to encourage boys and girls to play football and develop both skill and fitness. I am confident that these children will be able to take Indian football to its rightful place in the world," he said.

Tournament Director for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, Javier Ceppi, was delighted with the show of support from the highest office of the country. "We have been working very hard on making this a success. This backing from Prime Minster Modi will only strengthen our resolve to make this the most popular and watched World Cup in India and help change Indian football," he said.

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