Sports Modi Laurels

Prime Minster Narendra Modi met with the U-17 World Cup squad Nov. 10, 2017. (Indian Football Team Twitter photo)

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the Indian squad that took part in the FIFA U-17 World Cup here Nov. 10 and urged them to win greater laurels for the country in the future.

"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," Modi said. 

"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," he added.

The U-17 squad became the first Indian team to take part in a football World Cup in any age group when the country hosted the FIFA U-17 World Cup Oct.6-28.

However, they did not enjoy a successful campaign, losing all three of their Group A matches to the U.S., Ghana and Colombia. 

But Jeakson Singh became the first Indian to score in a World Cup at any level when he headed in the only goal of the campaign against Colombia.

Modi also urged people to make sports a part of their daily routine.

"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," he told the footballers. 

The prime minister said Singh's goal against Colombia was the "biggest reason for all of us to celebrate."

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