Play to win, Rathore tells boys

Play to win, Rathore tells boys
Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Tuesday urged the Indian boys to play to win in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, which begins at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Friday.

Rathore, an Olympic silver medallist shooter, said the team can inspire the nation with their performance in the World Cup. “When you enter the field, you should enter to win.

Every game you play in the FIFA U-17 World Cup will be the game of your life. This will be etched in your memory forever.

“You may have entered tournament as a hosts, but this should not deter you from springing surprises”, Rathore said during the team’s felicitation function.

“Each and everyone of you can inspire this nation by what you do on the football field once the World Cup starts. When you enter the field, you should remember the most ridiculous things people might have said about you, all the pains you have suffered in you, efforts to reach up to here and all the late night dribbles with the ball that have become a part of your life. You are not playing for Manipur or Bengal or Goa but you are playing for India. Wish you all a great game, we will be cheering for you. Never give up and play strong.”

The team captain Amarjit Singh Kiyam received a memento from Rathore even as all other players met with the minister.

Rathore later informed that Nehru Stadium had been handed over to the Local Organising Committee on time and that FIFA was happy with the facilities.

Buzz missing

India are playing all their group matches in the capital city, beginning with the USA, but the buzz is missing at the ticket counter.

The players, too, have started training here, but very few are aware about the tournament or its magnitude.

India’s group matches were earlier slated in Navi Mumbai before requests from the Sports Ministry and the AIFF got them shifted to New Delhi Delhi.

Rathore, though, insisted the ticket sales have been satisfactory.

“The ticket sales in all the six venues have been very good. We actually held on the sale of the tickets so that we can reserve some for the children. We want children to watch the matches in large numbers,” he said.

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