NEW DELHI, May 16: Former football World Cup champion Carles Puyol on Monday handed over the first lot of tickets of the upcoming U-17 World Cup to the grand daughter-in-law of 1911 IFA Shield winning Mohun Bagan captain Shibdas Bhaduri.
Bhaduri had led the legendary Mohun Bagan team that became the first Indian team to beat a British team in the fil of a major tourment when they got the better of East Yorkshire Regiment 2-1 in the 1911 IFA Shield.
Gouri Bhaduri, the grand daughter-in-law of Bhaduri and the oldest surviving member of the family, received the tickets from the former Spain star.
"I was very curious to discover the country and its people. I gives me immense joy to confer this honour," Puyol told the media after handing over the tickets to the 80-year-old.
Puyol was the star Central defender of the Spain team that defeated Holland 1-0 in the fil of the 2010 World Cup.
"I am every happy to be here in India. Its a great occasion. I hope to be here in India in September when the U-17 World Cup gets under way," the former Barcelo star said.
Puyol was involved in a friendly match with local children and popular singer and Union Minister Babul Supriyo after the ceremony.
Sports Minister Vijay Goel, who was also present on the occasion, asserted that the U-17 World Cup will help to improve the popularity and the standard of the 'beautiful game' in India.
"Through the U-17 World Cup we are going to touch 15,000 schools and we are going to touch 11 million youth and students. Football is already a popular game in our country and we want to make it more popular," Goel told IANS.
Goel, who has been on a tour of the various venues of the U-17 World Cup around the country, expressed satisfaction with the level of the preparedness.
"I have visited Kolkata, Kochi and Goa. I am happy with what I have seen. There were a few problems, but those are being sorted and we will be ready in time," he said. IANS