July 7, 2014
WB CM vows to promote football at the introduction ceremony of Atletico de Kolkata
India`s first franchise-based professionalfootball team Atletico de Kolkata, birth of which was announced exactly a monthago to participate in the Indian Super League, on Monday declared Antonio LopezHabas as its coach.
At an event in the presence of West BengalChief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the club also launched its official Facebookfan page and other social media platforms.
The West Bengal Government would supportAtletico de Kolkata in developing the right infrastructure of internationalstandards, the Chief Minister has promised.
Excerptsfrom the Chief Minister`s speech:
I welcome all the dignitaries andfootballers who are present here. The logo of the team has been launched today.It is a beautiful logo. It resembles the Royal Bengal Tiger. With the ableleadership, we may win the ISL championship. I am happy to know that playerscoming from various foreign clubs.
In Bengal, football is in our blood. Welove football more than anything. We can forget our food but we cannot forgetfootball. But due to some unfortunate reasons, football as a sport is laggingin our country. You can see the enthusiasm and interest of the people in ourlocal clubs like East Bengal and Mohanbagan.
Cricket generates more interest becausethey can get more sponsorship. They have the money and infrastructure. Cricketis very popular but very few countries play cricket. Nobody was bothered aboutfootball. This is a unique idea to promote football. This is also theappropriate time during the World Cup. I believe Bengal can lead the country inthis sphere also. We need the infrastructure to groom new footballers.
I believe with today`s launch many new goodplayers will come up and receive good training from players from around theworld. There will be a better tomorrow. From our side, I assure you, whateverassistance you need from the Sports Department, we will be happy to extend ourhelp. We are already renovating the Salt Lake Stadium. Let us create betterinfrastructure so that in future we can proudly say we have good players.
Image: WB CM honouring Sourav Ganguly with Khel Ratna 2013