India Sports
FIFA chief assures new era in Indian soccer
Apr 15, 2007 - 3:00:38 PM

Kolkata, April 15 - FIFA president Joseph Blatter Sunday visited the three major football club houses here and assured that the real game would begin in India from now on under the guidance of the world soccer body.

'I am extremely glad to be here in Kolkata which is the birthplace of Indian football. I welcome you all to the FIFA fold and assure you that the real game will begin in India from now on,' said Blatter.

'Football is a social school of our lives. Enjoy your life, but don't forget to enjoy soccer,' he said.

Talking about Mohun Bagan and Mohameddan Sporting and East Bengal clubs he said: 'I represent FIFA. And we are juniors here. We have come here to remember soccer history.'

While FIFA was established in 1904, Mohun Bagan was established in 1889 and Mohammedan Sporting Club in 1891. East Bengal was established in 1920.

Later, Asian Football Confederation - president Mohammed Bin Hammam said: 'It is time for us to play the game here. We feel emotionally attached with this place because of the love for football you show here.'

While he was presented with a silver boat as a memento in Mohun Bagan, Mohammedan Sporting club presented him a trophy and a souvenir. Near the Gostho Pal statue the camerapersons' stage caved in. Thankfully no one was injured.

The experience was different at East Bengal club. They made a stage in the form of a goalpost and presented Blatter a memento, a photo of the DCM cup-winning East Bengal team with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and a souvenir.

Blatter presented all the clubs with a FIFA pendant each.

The FIFA president is to watch a East Bengal-Mohun Bagan match at the Salt Lake stadium later.

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