Indian Football

‘Ready to offer Sunil Chhetri my country’s passport’: Myanmar coach heaps praise on India captain

Having already sealed qualification, India face Myanmar in the return leg of AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers.

Myanmar coach Gerd Zaise is so impressed with Sunil Chhetri that he is willing to offer the Indian football team skipper his country’s passport.

Referring to Chhetri’s goal, which made the difference between the two teams in their first leg 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers, the German described Chhetri as the “most dangerous player”.

“The Indian captain is a cool customer and he’s the most dangerous player. We must take care of the counter attacks and the defence line must be cautious when it involves him,” Zaise stated.

“I am ready to give him a Myanmar Passport,” he said and repeated the line when he met Chhetri after the press conference.

Passport should be given to defenders: Chhetri

Referring to the Myanmar coach’s comments that he’s ready to provide Chhetri with a Myanmar passport, he quipped: “Let’s not take away the credit from our defenders. As I remember we defended for most of the time and they carried out the job with utmost precision.

“If he hands me a Myanmar passport, it is to be given to the defenders, Jeje, Udanta too,” Chhetri added.

Despite having sealed qualification, Chhetri admitted that the team were a work-in-progress and needed to learn from the mistakes they made in the previous game.

“I admit that they had a lot of ball possession. They kept us under tremendous pressure throughout. But at the end of the day, we took all three points.

“I will any day take three points at the end, no matter who has more ball possession.”

‘First step in preparation’

India coach Stephen Constantine said the game would be the first step in his side’s preparations ahead of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

“This match is the first step to Asian Cup’s preparation which is precisely 14 months away,” he said at the official pre-match press conference.

“The match allows us the opportunity to test the depth of our squad. Obviously, we are looking forward to it,” he maintained.

Constantine showed huge respect for the visitors and said that it can be “anyone’s game”.

“Myanmar are a very disciplined side. The coach is there for eight long years and he follows a similar system. We had a torrid time in Myanmar.”

Myanmar are hoping to secure a place in the finals and will be gunning for a positive result.

“India are really good at defending and we have to absolutely on our toes to penetrate them. I would like to congratulate them on their success but tomorrow we have to take our chances to go back with a positive result,” Zaise stated.

“We have come to Goa to play good football and take some points. Our first target is to not lose. We were the better side in the first leg but ended up on the losing side.

“We need to score. Sometimes, you will get only one chance in the entire match and you need to utilise that.”

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Virat Kohli and Ola come together to improve Delhi's air quality

The onus of curbing air-pollution is on citizens as well

A recent study by The Lancet Journal revealed that outdoor pollution was responsible for 6% of the total disease burden in India in 2016. As a thick smog hangs low over Delhi, leaving its residents gasping for air, the pressure is on the government to implement SOS measures to curb the issue as well as introduce long-term measures to improve the air quality of the state. Other major cities like Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata should also acknowledge the gravitas of the situation.

The urgency of the air-pollution crisis in the country’s capital is being reflected on social media as well. A recent tweet by Virat Kohli, Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, urged his fans to do their bit in helping the city fight pollution. Along with the tweet, Kohli shared a video in which he emphasized that curbing pollution is everyone’s responsibility. Apart from advocating collective effort, Virat Kohli’s tweet also urged people to use buses, metros and Ola share to help reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

In the spirit of sharing the responsibility, ride sharing app Ola responded with the following tweet.

To demonstrate its commitment to fight the problem of vehicular pollution and congestion, Ola is launching #ShareWednesdays : For every ​new user who switches to #OlaShare in Delhi, their ride will be free. The offer by Ola that encourages people to share resources serves as an example of mobility solutions that can reduce the damage done by vehicular pollution. This is the fourth leg of Ola’s year-long campaign, #FarakPadtaHai, to raise awareness for congestion and pollution issues and encourage the uptake of shared mobility.

In 2016, WHO disclosed 10 Indian cities that made it on the list of worlds’ most polluted. The situation necessitates us to draw from experiences and best practices around the world to keep a check on air-pollution. For instance, a system of congestion fees which drivers have to pay when entering central urban areas was introduced in Singapore, Oslo and London and has been effective in reducing vehicular-pollution. The concept of “high occupancy vehicle” or car-pool lane, implemented extensively across the US, functions on the principle of moving more people in fewer cars, thereby reducing congestion. The use of public transport to reduce air-pollution is another widely accepted solution resulting in fewer vehicles on the road. Many communities across the world are embracing a culture of sustainable transportation by investing in bike lanes and maintenance of public transport. Even large corporations are doing their bit to reduce vehicular pollution. For instance, as a participant of the Voluntary Traffic Demand Management project in Beijing, Lenovo encourages its employees to adopt green commuting like biking, carpooling or even working from home. 18 companies in Sao Paulo executed a pilot program aimed at reducing congestion by helping people explore options such as staggering their hours, telecommuting or carpooling. After the pilot, drive-alone rates dropped from 45-51% to 27-35%.

It’s the government’s responsibility to ensure that the growth of a country doesn’t compromise the natural environment that sustains it, however, a substantial amount of responsibility also lies on each citizen to lead an environment-friendly lifestyle. Simple lifestyle changes such as being cautious about usage of electricity, using public transport, or choosing locally sourced food can help reduce your carbon footprint, the collective impact of which is great for the environment.

Ola is committed to reducing the impact of vehicular pollution on the environment by enabling and encouraging shared rides and greener mobility. They have also created flat fare zones across Delhi-NCR on Ola Share to make more environment friendly shared rides also more pocket-friendly. To ensure a larger impact, the company also took up initiatives with City Traffic Police departments, colleges, corporate parks and metro rail stations.

Join the fight against air-pollution by using the hashtag #FarakPadtaHai and download Ola to share your next ride.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Ola and not by the Scroll editorial team.