FIFA recalls Indian football's pioneering status

FIFA President Joseph Blatter has visited the three major football clubs in the Indian city of Kolkata and gave assures that the world football body respected the historic role of the sport in India. "I am extremely glad to be here in Kolkata which is the birthplace of Indian football. I welcome you all to the FIFA fold and assure you that the real game will begin in India from now on," Blatter told media. "Football is a social school of our lives. Enjoy your life, but don't forget to enjoy soccer," he said. Talking about Mohun Bagan, Mohameddan Sporting and East Bengal clubs he said: "I represent FIFA. And we are juniors here. We have come here to remember soccer history." While FIFA was established in 1904, Mohun Bagan was established in 1889 and Mohammedan Sporting Club in 1891. East Bengal was established in 1920.

Later, Asian Football Confederation President Mohammed Bin Hammam said: "It is time for us to play the game here. We feel emotionally attached with this place because of the love for football you show here."