Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi met the India U-17 football team at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in New Delhi on Friday November 10.
The young guns, who represented the nation in the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 have returned from Saudi Arabia following the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers. India U-19 team unfortunately missed out on qualifying for the AFC U-19 Championship 2018, after coming third following just one win from their three matches.
"I personally requested for this meeting as I saw some spark in all of you. Based on your performance people have started knowing you so there is a huge responsibility on your shoulders," mentioned Modi during the meeting.
He further added that the boys must stay together as a team and in a few years' time should establish themselves as professional players.
"Consider this U-17 World Cup as just a preparation for the future. I hope you stick together as a team and in 5-7 years' time represent the country with great laurels", he added.
Modi, a sports-enthusiast personnel, who has mentioned the significance of sports many times in his 'Mann ki Baat' radio show, expressed that "there is no life without sports".
"There is no life without sports. Football is a very intense game. Hope you can inspire people to inculcate sports as part of their daily lives", said Modi.
The Prime Minister was present at the JLN Stadium in New Delhi during India's FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 opener against the USA on October 6. He said that Jeakson Singh's goal against Colombia in their second match was the "biggest reason for all of us to celebrate".
"When Jeakson scored the goal it gave the biggest reason for all of us to celebrate."
The India U-17 team, along with India U-19 boys are now slated to ply their trade in the upcoming I-League 2017-18 season.