Goa (Panaji) [India], May 11 (ANI): Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant condoled the death of legendary footballer Fortunato Franco, the Goan footballer who was an integral part of India's Asian Games Gold Medal winning team in the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta where the country beat South Korea 2-1 in the final.
In his condolence message, Sawant recalled Franco's contribution in the field of sports and said that his contribution in lifting the game of football will always be remembered. The footballing lessons he thought will stay with us forever, he added.
Earlier, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) expressed grief over the demise of Franco, who passed away on Monday in Goa.
He was also a member of the Indian team in the 1960 Rome Olympics, and the Indian team which finished second in the 1962 Asian Cup, runners-up in the 1964 Merdeka Cup in Kuala Lumpur, and the national team which finished 3rd in the Merdeka Cup in 1965.Franco who represented India 26 times made his international debut against Pakistan in the Asian Cup Qualifiers in Ernakulam in December 1959.
Praful Patel, AIFF President, said in his message, "It is devastating to hear that Fortunato Franco is no more. He was a member of the Indian Football's golden generation who played a stellar role in helping India win the Gold Medal in 1962 Asian Games. His contribution to Indian Football can never be forgotten. I share the grief."On the domestic front, Franco captained Maharashtra in the Santosh Trophy from 1959 to 1966, and helped the state triumph in the 1963-64 season. (ANI)