Manipur hosts first tri-nation international football tournament in Imphal

Imphal, March 22: For the very first time, Manipur is hosting an international football tournament featuring India, Myanmar and Kyrgyz Republic. The opening match of the Hero tri-nation was held today at Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal.

On Wednesday evening, Anirudh Thapa’s goal gives the Blue Tigers led by its captain Sunil Chhetri a 1-0 win against Myanmar in the opening match of the Tri-nation international football tournament. 

The six-day international friendly tourney will conclude on March 28 with India facing against the Kyrgyz Republic.

During the inaugural match, football fans from across the state gathered and filled the 35,000 sitting capacity Khuman Lampak Stadium cheering for the Blue Tigers. 

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Though the state had hosted several tournaments in the past, including Durand Cup, this is the first time the football crazy state hosted the international tournament.

The inaugural ceremony also saw chief minister N Biren Singh, few ministers, MLAs, officials in attendance.

Addressing the inaugural function, chief minister Biren Singh said that it is indeed very fortunate for the state to host the Hero Tri-Nation International Football Tournament and a moment of pride that the National team has around 5-6 players from the small state.

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Expressing gratitude to the All India Football Federation, the chief minister said the AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey and his team is indeed appreciable for acknowledging the potential of Manipuri players and the state’s love of football and giving the state an opportunity to host this tri-nation football tournament.

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CM Biren Singh also highlighted that during the visit of the AIFF president at the closing match of the ongoing tournament, the state will sign an MoU with the AIFF for logistics and other support in setting up of a Football academy to develop and promote the sports in the state.

The chief minister also appealed to the people of the state to attend the matches and to show discipline and decency during the tournament.

The opening session of the tournament was highlighted by a performance from drummers of Rhythms of Manipur and other cultural performances.

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