New Delhi, May 10 (UNI): The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Monday condoled the demise of former Indian national team midfielder Fortunato Franco, who passed away in Goa. He was 84.
Franco was an integral part of India’s gold-winning football team in the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta where India beat South Korea 2-1 in the final.
Besides, he was also a member of the Indian team in the 1960 Rome Olympics, and the 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.
“It is devastating to hear that Mr. Fortunato Franco is no more. He was a member of the Indian football’s golden generation who played a stellar role in India helping India win the gold medal in 1962 Asian Games. His contribution to Indian Football can never be forgotten. I share the grief,” said Praful Patel, AIFF President in his message.
AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said. “Mr Fortunato Franco will be alive in his achievements. He played a massive role in India winning the Gold Medal in the 1962 Asian Games. He was a legendary footballer who has been an inspiration to so many generations. My condolences to his family. We pray for his soul to rest in peace.”
Franco, who represented India 26 times made his international debut against Pakistan in the Asian Cup Qualifiers in Ernakulam in December, 1959.
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. At the club level, he played for Tata Sports Club.