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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: CM Mamata felicitates Atletico de Kolkata team

PHOTOS: CM Mamata felicitates Atletico de Kolkata team

December 24, 2014 18:02 IST

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with the players of Atletico De Kolkata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with the players of Atletico De Kolkata during a felicitation ceremony, in Kolkata on Wednesday. Photograph: PTI

The members of the victorious inaugural Indian Super League Football Championship Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) were felicitated by West Bengal government and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation on Wednesday.

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee felicitates Mohammad Rafique

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee felicitates Mohammad Rafique, who scored the winning goal for Atletico De Kolkata. Also seen is former footballer Baichung Bhutia, extreme right. Photograph: PTI

"The victory will inspire youngsters to play football. We love Kolkata and we are proud of you Team Kolkata, Thank you so much," state chief minister Mamata Banerjee said at the programme held at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata.

"We convey our best wishes to those, who are trying to popularise football at grass-root level. We have to groom budding sportspersons," she said.

Though ATK's foreign recruits have returned home, local players Mohammad Rafique, who scored the winning goal in the final against Kerala Blasters, Arnab Mondal, Sanju Pradhan, Baljit Sahni, Biswajit Saha, Rakesh Masih, Kingshuk Debnath, goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury were present.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with All India Football Federation president Praful Patel

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with All India Football Federation president Praful Patel, centre, during Atletico De Kolkatas felicitation ceremony. Photograph: PTI

The chief minister handed over gifts, uttariya and a special trophy to the players.

Besides them, the assistant coach, physio and team doctor, ATK co owners Harshavardhan Neotia, Sanjiv Goenka, and Utsav Parekh were also felicitated by Banerjee, who also cut a cake that looked like the ISL winner's Cup.

Another co-owner, former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly, was absent, as he is now in Australia for his commentary stint.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with All India Football Federation president Praful Patel

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with All India Football Federation president Praful Patel. Photograph: PTI

Conveying her best wishes to the ISL organiers, the eight teams, she said, "We are missing Sourav today."

AIFF president Praful Patel was present in the programme besides star footballers from the 70's like Goutam Sarkar, Shyam Thapa, Prasanta Banerjee, Bidesh Bose, Manash Bhattacharya, Samaresh (Pintu) Chowdhury along with tennis coach Akhtar Ali.

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