The All India Football Federation (AIFF) condoled the demise of former India national team midfielder Fortunato Franco, who passed away on Monday in Goa.
Franco was an integral part of India’s Asian Games Gold Medal winning 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 Indian 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.
Franco who represented India 26 times made his international debut against Pakistan in the Asian Cup Qualifiers in Ernakulam in December 1959.
Praful Patel, AIFF President, said in his message, “It is devastating to hear that Fortunato Franco is no more. He was a member of the Indian Football’s golden generation who played a stellar role in helping India win the Gold Medal in 1962 Asian Games. His contribution to Indian Football can never be forgotten. I share the grief.”
AIFF General Secretary, Kushal Das said: “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.”
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.