Often teased for having failed to bring industry in Bengal after allegedly driving away the Tata Motors from Singur as an opposition leader, the Chief Minister is drawing kudos from the people of Kolkata for having successfully convinced the famous Madrid club La Liga to open a football academy in this part of the world.
La Liga is likely to open a football academy in Bengal soon, “probably within a few months time,” a State minister said.
Banerjee who expressed happiness over the Spanish club promising to open an academy in Kolkata said, “we want them to train our young generation and aid in developing our skills… with the aid of Spain we may come up with hope and scope,” reminding how the great cricketers like Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguli had brought fame for India and made her proud.
Incidentally Ganguli earlier announced setting up his third steel plant at Salboni in Purulia district of Bengal. His earlier two plants are functioning at Patna and Durgapur. The newer plant will draw an investment of Rs 2,500 crore and employ 6,000 workers, the former Team India captain who was also touring Spain with Banerjee said. Ganguli’s plant will come in the place of erstwhile Jindal Steel Plant for which land had been acquired by former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee but could not materialize in the wake of subsequent circumstances.
“We are happy that the Spanish club is coming to Kolkata … we hope that in a few year’s time Bengal will once again come to the forefront of football … then we will not have to hire footballers from abroad,” said a former India player.
Another senior functionary of the Mohun Bagan club said that “bringing La Liga to Kolkata is perhaps the biggest achievement of Mamata Banerjee in terms of sports … We have seen how one cricket star like Sourav Ganguli has done … now we hope to expect similar stars to come up in football.”