PM inaugurates National Football League

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today inaugurated the 9th National Football League.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:47 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today inaugurated the 9th National Football League here with a call to the players to strive for achieving excellence in the "beautiful game" and make India a major soccer power in the world. The Prime Minister formally kicked off the ONGC Cup by taking a shot at the goal at the Salt Lake Stadium before the start of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal derby. He said efforts should be mounted by all to achieve success in the game of soccer both locally and internationally. "Football is a game which is played in every country of the world" he said adding that sustained attempts should be made to make India a major soccer power. Singh described the city giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal as "premier clubs" having "great name and fame" in the world of soccer. Earlier, All-India Football Federation President P R Dasmunsi handed over a cheque of Rs 15 lakh to the Prime Minister for his National Relief Fund for the aid of the tsunami victims. Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi, Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee and ONGC Chairman Subir Raha were present, among others. The Prime Minister also presented the FIFA centenary award to P K Banerjee, who is adjudged as India's best footballer of last millennium. He was later introduced to players of both the city giants - East Bengal and Mohun Bagan - and the Mizoram (under-13) team. (PTI)

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