Protesters expressed anger at the authorities’ avoidance of Indian sports stars and the selection of players from Portugal, who granted Goa’s independence in 1961.
A statue of Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo caused a turmoil in Goa, South India, and locals accused authorities of being insensitive for praising sports stars from the region’s former colonial powers.
Protesters with black flags gathered on the scene this week after the statue was unveiled in the town of Karangut.
They expressed anger that authorities shunned Indian sports stars and chose a player from Portugal, who granted Goa’s independence in 1961.
Former Indian player Mickey Fernandez from Goa said the choice was “painful” and a “hangover” from Portuguese rule.
“Ronaldo is the best player in the world, but he still needs a statue of a Gore football player,” Fernandez said.
Michael Lobo, the local minister of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, said its purpose was to inspire young people to excel not only domestically but also internationally.
“All boys and girls who want to make football a career get inspiration from people like Cristiano Ronaldo,” Robo said.
“If you pursue your dreams and you are passionate about it, you can achieve higher goals. This is what we wrote on the plaque.”
Most of India today gained independence in 1947.
However, Portugal’s then military dictatorship only abandoned Gore after the Indian invasion and the two-day war of 1961.
The centuries-old influence of Portugal can be seen in local architecture, especially in many churches. Many people in Goa have names derived from Portuguese.
Unlike most India, many Goans prefer football to cricket. Many also support Portugal in international tournaments such as the World Cup.
This is not the first time Ronaldo’s statue, 36, has caused upset.
The grinning bust, unveiled at Madeira Airport in Portugal in 2017, was widely ridiculed for having little resemblance to its subject.
https://www.trtworld.com/sport/ronaldo-statue-stirs-controversy-in-india-s-goa-53175?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss Ronaldo statue causes controversy in Goa, India