Categories: Sports

Ronaldo Statue Sparks Controversy In Goa, India

This photograph taken on December 30, 2021, shows a newly installed statue of Portuguese footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, in Calangute after the statue has caused a stir, this time in Goa, the southern Indian state that was a Portuguese colony until 60 years ago. PHOTO: AFP

 

A statue of Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has caused a stir in the southern Indian state of Goa, with locals accusing officials of insensitivity for honouring a sports star from the region’s former colonial power.

Protesters with black flags gathered at the site after the statue was unveiled this week in the town of Calangute.

They expressed anger that authorities had shunned Indian sports stars and chosen a player from Portugal, which granted Goa independence in 1961.

Micky Fernandes, a former Indian international player who is from Goa, said the choice was “hurtful” and a “hangover” from Portuguese rule.

READ ALSO: Remove Your Tattoos, Beijing Tells Chinese Football Players

“Ronaldo is the best player in the world but still we should have a statue of a football player from Goa,” Fernandes told AFP.

Michael Lobo, a local minister with India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, told AFP the aim was to inspire young people to excel not just inside the country but internationally.

“All the boys and girls who want to make football a career will get inspired by people like Cristiano Ronaldo,” Lobo said.

“If you pursue your dream and you’re passionate about it then you can reach a higher goal. This is what we have written on the plaque.”

Most of present-day India gained independence in 1947.

But Portugal’s then military dictatorship only relinquished Goa following an invasion by the Indian army and a two-day war in 1961.

Portugal’s centuries-long influence remains visible in local architecture, particularly the many churches. Many people in Goa have Portuguese-origin surnames.

Unlike in most of India, many Goans prefer football to cricket — and many support Portugal in international tournaments such as the World Cup.

“I follow (Portugal) too but when we have our own players we cannot put up a statue of someone from outside,” Fernandes said.

It is not the first time a statue of Ronaldo, 36, has caused an upset.

A grinning bust unveiled at Madeira airport in Portugal in 2017 was widely ridiculed as looking little like its subject.

AFP

Ronke Sanya Idowu

Disqus Comments Loading...
Share
Published by
Ronke Sanya Idowu
Tags: Cristiano Ronaldo

Recent Posts

  • Headlines

‘Despicable Action’, Obi Condemns ‘Kano Attack’ On Buhari

Controversy has trailed the reported attack on the President’s convoy on Monday in the Hotoro area of Kano.

2 hours ago
  • Sports

18-Year-Old Akinsanmiro Joins Inter Milan From Remo Stars

It is, however, unclear the transfer fee earned from the sale as it wasn’t declared.

2 hours ago
  • Sports

Spain’s Llorente Signs For Roma On Loan From Leeds

"As part of the agreement, the club has the option to make the transfer permanent," Roma added.

2 hours ago
  • Headlines
  • Politics

Osun Tribunal: ‘Buga Won’ Comment Was Made In Passing, Says Oyetola’s Lawyer

Last Friday, two out of the three-member panel of the tribunal held that the petitioner was able to prove that…

3 hours ago
  • Top story

Fuel Scarcity May Affect Election Logistics — INEC

The electoral chief also urged the transporters to be neutral and non-partisan as they commute INEC staff to-and-from polling units.

3 hours ago
  • Headlines

‘Subject To Certain Conditions’, CBN Clarifies Old Naira Acceptance After Feb 10

A spokesman for the apex bank said after the deadline, Nigerians will be able to redeem the face value of…

4 hours ago