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Ronaldo statue sparks controversy in India

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A new statue of footballing superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has sparked controversy in the Indian state of Goa.

Locals in Goa are objecting to a Portuguese footballer being honoured instead of a player from India.

Michael Lobo, a minister in the Goa state government, tweeted that the statue had been supposed to promote football as a sport and inspire young people to play the game.

Instead, the day after the unveiling of the 400-kilogramme statue, protesters carrying black flags converged on the site to protest, according to Indian news agency IANS on Wednesday.

Not only were the protesters angry at the decision to honour a foreign footballer, but the fact that the choice had been a player from Portugal.


This was seen as a particular affront, given that the country ran Goa as a colony for centuries, only leaving 60 years ago.

Lobo also told IANS that the protesters simply hated football.

While cricket remains by far the most popular sport in India overall, in some areas that weren’t colonised by the British, such as Goa, football enjoys more popularity.

In spite of having a population of more than 1.3 billion, India was worse at football than many other far smaller countries.

(dpa/NAN)

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