FIFA Under-17 World Cup opening day witnessed a major goof up. The organisers were at fault as India’s former goalkeeper Bhaskar Ganguly was not called to get felicitated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Ganguly was to be felicitated along with other players before the India vs USA clash on October 6 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. Ganguly’s name was on the list but he did not get the memento and a shawl with the others.
PM Modi felicitated the Indian Football team skipper who played in the Asian Games. When Ganguly’s name was called but Rajasthan footballer Magan Singh Rajvi came out and received the award which caught the eyes of many.
“There was a mix-up but as soon as we came to know of it, we decided to rectify it. Bhaskar was later felicitated privately at the half-time of the India vs USA match. We also apologised to him for the incident,” an official from the organisers of the felicitation ceremony told PTI.
PM Modi felicitated IM Vijayan, Bhaichung Bhutia, Sunil Chhetri, Bembem Devi, P K Banerjee and Syed Nayeemuddin before the match. A shawl and memento were presented to all during the ceremony.
The Day 1 of FIFA Under-17 World Cup saw India beaten by the USA with the final scoreline reading 3-0. Everyone lauded Indian players’ effort in their maiden FIFA event. Especially goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh who pulled off a stunning save to deny USA another goal.
There were a few good attacks from Team India but they could not be converted into goals. One of the shot hit the crossbar and came back, that was the closest Indian players got to a goal in their first match. They were impressive but lacked the experience of playing in big tournaments. India will be taking on Columbia in their next group stage match on October 9 and the whole nation will be praying for a change of fortunes.