Thursday, September 14, 2006

Brazil agrees to assist India's football development

At the invitation of Mr Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Mr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, accompanied by a high level delegation, paid an official visit to Brazil from 11-14 September. During their bilateral meeting on 12 September, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to work towards a qualitative upgrading of the broad-based bilateral relationship between the two large democracies that share a multicultural and pluralistic ethos and common developmental aspirations.

An important outcome of the meeting was the decision of the two governments to cooperate in promoting exchanges in the field of football and training of Indian players and coaches.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air-India One, the special flight taking the delegation to Brazil, Prime Minister Singh said he was hopeful that more coaches from Brazil will make the eastward journey to make India a competitive football nation. "Brazil's credentials as a football power are well-known and [All India Football Federation president and Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister] Priyaranjan Dasmunsi has asked me to raise this matter with the government of Brazil, he said as reported by Syed Firdaus Ashraf.

The AIIF subsequently expressed its gratitude to the Prime Minister for taking up the development of football in India and signing the MOU to that effect with Brazil.