Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met the Indian U-17 football team which had represented the country in a FIFA World Cup event for the first time in the history of Indian football. The Amarjit Singh Kiyam led Blue Tigers had to face defeat in all 3 games against USA, Colombia and Ghana but they managed to leave an impact on their opponents with some remarkable skill display on the pitch. PM Modi interacted with the future Indian football stars on their return back to India following the AFC U-19 Championship qualifiers in Saudi Arabia.

During his interaction with the players, PM Modi emphasised on the importance sports in the growth of the country and motivated the players to learn from their failure and effectively shoulder the responsibility of leading the country in bigger tournaments in future. Mentioning that football is a growing game in India, the Prime Minister mentioned that sports not just helps in developing personality but also boosts confidence and enhances overall development. Starting off the healthy interaction PM Modi mentioned that he called the meeting as he sees future leaders in the Indian U-17 stars. “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,” said PM Modi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is a self-proclaimed sports enthusiast was also present at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi during the inauguration ceremony of the FIFA U-17 World Cup. He had presented mementoes to several Indian football greats before the kick off of the tournament. Praising the talent of the U-17 players he said that he would love to see the current talented lot of footballers represent the country collectively in future. He also expressed his delight on Jeakson Singh’s first ever goal for the country in a FIFA World Cup and termed it as one of the biggest reasons to celebrate for fans across the country. “Jeakson’s goal was one of the biggest reason for all of us to celebrate,” said PM Narendra Modi.

Several Indian U-17 stars including the likes of Goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh and attacker Komal Thatal are expected to make it big in the future after impressing in the tournament. The Indian team ended their campaign at the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers football tournament with a 3-0 win over Turkmenistan in the last match of Group D at the Prince Mohammad bin Fahad Stadium in Dubai.

The Prime Minister took to Twitter to reflect upon his meeting with the Indian U-17 football team and wrote, “Had an excellent interaction with the Indian Team that participated in the FIFA U-17 World Cup held in India recently.”