Monday, June 17, 2024

Demonstration against the statue of Ronaldo – Al-Etihad newspaper


India (AFP)

The unveiling of a statue of Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo in the Indian state of Goa has sparked controversy among residents, with some accusing local authorities of honoring a player from a country that colonized the region.
Following the unveiling of the statue this week in the southwestern city of Calangute, protesters waved black flags and gathered at the site.
Portugal did not grant independence to the region until 1961, while most Indian territories became independent by 1947, two days after the Indian military invasion and end of military dictatorship.
Former international Mickey Fernandes, whose roots go back to the state of Goa, described his decision to express his regret over the “remnants” of the Portuguese yoke as “difficult”.

“Ronaldo is the best player in the world, but we have to have a statue of the Goa player,” he told AFP.
Michael Lobo, a regional minister and a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, justified the choice by inspiring the younger generation to excel not only in India but also internationally.
He said: All the young men and women who want to play football are inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo. If you chase your dreams with enthusiasm, you can realize this goal. This is what we wrote on the board.
Traces of the Portuguese era are even clearer in terms of architecture, the large number of churches and the fact that many of the residents have names of Lucidan descent.
Unlike other Indian regions, people prefer football to cricket and support Portugal in international competitions such as the World Cup.
Fernandez explained: I also follow Portugal, but cannot raise the statue of a foreign player when our (domestic) players are present.
This is not the first time the 36 – year – old Ronaldo’s statue has sparked controversy. Real Madrid.

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Camelia Garner
Camelia Garner
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