India, as the declared host of the under-17 World Cup football in 2017, savoured the feeling of hosting the symbol of ultimate supremacy in the sport – the FIFA World Cup Trophy – which made a stop here on Sunday as part of its 88-country trip.
The glittering trophy carved out of 4927gm of pure gold was received by Sachin Tendulkar. He used the occasion to engender the dream of playing the 2022 FIFA World Cup for the young Indian footballers even as the cup was borne on to the stage by Carlos Alberto Torres, who captained Brazil to the World Cup triumph in 1970 in Mexico.
“I am here to show my support to the young footballers some of whom I believe will participate in the World Cup in 2022,” said Tendulkar.
“The year 2022 sounds like a realistic target. We are hosting the under-17 World Cup in 2017 so we can hope to reach main stage of the 2022 (FIFA) World Cup,” he added.
“To participate in a big tournament like the World Cup does not happen overnight. It is a journey and for that journey to happen there is a process.”
Sourav Ganguly was also present on the occasion and shared the former’s dream about Indian football. “I am sure all of us will agree that football has taken a beating in Kolkata and India. It needs a massive push to bring it back where it was.”
The FIFA World Cup will be put up for public viewing on Monday.