New Delhi: Advocating the need to explore
the potential of football in the country and develop it all
over again, Sports Minister Ajay Maken said he wants to
take the game back to its golden era -- the 1950s and 60s.
During a function to felicitate the members of the Indian
football team that took part in 1960 Rome Olympics, Maken said
to bring back the golden era of football, the current bunch of
players must try to emulate the former greats.
"When we are not doing well in football at present, we
must take inspiration from the golden era and emulate them to
take the game forward and make a mark in the future," Maken
said at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here.
The members of the 1960 team -- captain P K Banerjee,
Chunni Goswami, Tulsidas Balaram, S Narayanan, O
Chandrashekhar, Fortunata A Franco, S S Hakim, S H Hamid, Arun
Lal Ghosh, Simon Sunder Raj and the wives of late Peter Thanga
Raj and D Kannan -- were presented with a silver plaque, a
shawl and a cheque of Rs 1.5 lakh each on the occasion.
Indian footballers had put up an impressive performance
in 1960 Rome Olympics by creating scare among power houses of
European football. They drew 1-1 with France and lost 1-2 to
Hungary to take the world by surprise.
Maken also stressed on the importance of initiatives
taken by his predecessor M S Gill, who was also present on the
occasion, for the promotion of football in the country.
"The initiative taken by Dr Gill in this direction will
be carried forward," he assured.
Maken said the fact that football was included in the
"Priority Category" from "Other Category" and an amount of
about Rs 8 crore was given for promotion of the game during
Gill`s tenure was a great start.
He also added that there was a need to focus on those
games for promotion and Government funding which are not
getting corporate sponsorship.
Speaking on the occasion, Gill said there is an urgent
need for promoting the game of masses, like football in the
"Efforts should be made to take football to the greater
heights," the former Sports Minister said.
Meanwhile, Maken once again emphasised that in order to
well in any particular sport, there is an urgent need to
ensure transparency in all sports federations.
The minister also expressed the government`s resolve to
legislate Sports Law for bringing transparency in the
administration of the sports federations.
"There must be transparency good governance in sports
federations of the country."