The Hague: Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee urged Dutch coaches to help Bengal produce to produce world class footballers. On Tuesday while addressing a gathering organised by the Royal Netherlands Football Association in Amsterdam on Tuesday, she said there were lakhs of football enthusiasts in West Bengal. “Boys in every block play football as it is affordable. It is a game of commoners and if these boys can be given proper coaching then the standard of football can be improved,” she said.
She said the state government had given special emphasis to promoting sporting activities. “Footballs, jerseys and other sports gear are given to the players and football tournaments are held throughout the year. It is the most popular sport in West Bengal,” she maintained.
She said Kolkata would host the final of under- 17 World Cup football tournaments.” The football grounds are getting the final touches and the final will be played at Yuba Bharati Krirangan in front of 85,000 spectators. The state government is building the infrastructure to host the under 17 world cup matches. “Football is a household game in West Bengal and everywhere you go you find people playing the game. Football is our life,” she said.
She urged John Van Geigen, head of international programme for World Coaches to collaborate with the state government and impart coaching to the youngsters. “Holland has produced some football legends. If we can collaborate then surely we will be able to produce some of the finest players.”
This is for the first time when a chief minister from West Bengal has made an appeal to Dutch football organisers to coach Bengal’s budding youngsters.