Now that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited by fellow BRICS nation head Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to watch the final of the ongoing FIFA World Cup at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on July 13, Indian PM’s new sports diplomacy will come under focus world wide.
While no confirmation has been given by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs so far, it is likely that Modi will accept the offer as he was anyway sure to attend the BRICS nation summit to be held two days later in Rio.
If he agrees to go for the FIFA final, he will face criticism back home for not encouraging football as no Indian team made it to FIFA so far.
Apart from Modi, other global luminaries like Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African Jacob Zuma will be there at Rio, just before the 2014 BRICS summit to be held between July 15 and 17 in Fortaleza.
The BRICS summit was originally scheduled for March but postponed at the request of Chinese and Russian Presidents who are fans of football.
Back in India though enthusiasm is high for football and Modi released commemorative postage stamps on the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a hope that the international event becomes a “bridge for connecting nations”, the situation is still not ripe for a truly international team to emerge.
Modi said, while releasing the stamp, “May the FIFA World Cup become a bridge for connecting nations together!”. Now is his turn to make it more appealing in India.