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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends India-USA match

The FIFA U-17 World cup encounter between India and United States of America started on a grand note with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading thousands of Indian fans in greeting the India team in the opening Group A encounter.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 06, 2017 23:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
FIFA U-17 World Cup,Narendra Modi,Prime Minister
ndia’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present for the team’s opening game versus United States of America in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in New Delhi.(PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led thousands of Indian fans who turned up at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Friday evening to cheer the Indian squad, which was playing in the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the first time.

Highlights | India vs United States of America FIFA U-17 World Cup

Narendra Modi, who was escorted by sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore and All India Football Federation president Praful Patel, shook hands with both the teams and had a message for the Indian captain Amarjit Singh with whom he had a small conversation.

Prime Minister Modi handed out mementos to a number of footballers who have led India national football teams in the past as part of the pre-match ceremony. The former players who were felicitated are - Bhaichung Bhutia, Bembem Devi, Bhaskar Ganguly, Chuni Goswami, IM Vijayan, PK Banerjee, Joaquim Abranches, Saeed Nyeemuddin, Samar Banerjee and current skipper Sunil Chhetri.

This is the first time that India are taking part in any FIFA tournament. They are placed in Group A alongside USA, Ghana and Colombia - the team whom they will face on October 9.

Indian football’s historic day was made extra special by the enthusiastic crowd who were cheering every move by the hosts and although it was not a full house at the start of the match, the loud cheers will be a huge boost for the Indian youngsters.

Twice champions Ghana and Colombia are the other teams in the groups. The tournament runs until October 28.

First Published: Oct 06, 2017 20:20 IST