Srinagar (NVI): Football is in the blood of Kashmiris and the sport can bring about a change, which will be for generations to see.
This is the assessment of Sandeep Chattoo, co-owner of Real Kashmir Football Club (RKFC), which he conveyed to a group of foreign envoys visiting Kashmir to assess the situation here arising from the abolition of Article 370.
During a roundtable with the diplomats, Chattoo gave a broad outline of the journey of RKFC and the way it had engaged with the youth in the valley.
“While many speakers ahead of me have talked about many issues, I have a different narrative. The first and foremost is to get to interact and engage with the youth of the valley. And for that, I believe that sports is an umbilical cord which joins youth to normalcy. I am proud to be the pioneer of such a club which ended the stalemate after August 5, 2019 developments,” he said.
Chattoo said there were concerns in the security establishment whether a football match should be permitted to be played but eventually managed to get the permission and the rest is history.
He requested the government to step in and help every club which is involved in promoting sports among the youth in Kashmir.
“Though there are many kind of sports but I firmly believe that football is in the blood of Kashmiris. I am sure football can bring around a change and that change will be for generations to see,” Chattoo added.
He also had a separate interaction with Walter J Linder, Ambassador of Germany, Grahame Morton, Charge d’Affaires of New Zealand High Commission and Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France.