Hyderabad: Former India captain Victor Amalraj and former mid-fielder Mohammad Farid, two of the many talented footballers from Hyderabad who have plied their trade in the Mecca of Indian football, will be among the four guest speakers at the ‘7 Decades of Indian football and FIFA U17 World Cup’ organised by Al Riyada Pvt Ltd in Kolkata on Wednesday.
“I really appreciate and thank Riyada for organising an event on Indian football. It’s a privilege to be in the city, where I had earned fame and also helped popularise Hyderabad football along with our past greats,” said Amalraj, who joined Mohammedan Sporting in 1978 and also played and captained Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. “Calcutta always fascinates me, and I’m really proud that it will host the FIFA U17 World Cup semifinal and final. It’s definitely a historic moment for the city.”
Farid, the last Hyderabadi to play for the national team as well as with the city’s Big Three in the 80s, said professional guidance is important for budding players. “We’re happy Riyada has come forward to guide us,” said the 58-year-old, who had joined East Bengal in 1981.
Legendary goalkeeper Bhaskar Ganguly, who led India at their last best performance in 1982 Delhi Asian Games, and Tanumay Bose, another former star, will also be present on the occasion.
Asked why Riyada is interested in Hyderabad, he added, “The city’s past glory fascinates me. Hyderabad has an important place in Indian football and can’t ignore the contribution of the outstanding Olympians and players groomed under the great Rahim sahib,’’ said Director Mohammad Aminul Islam.