Manipur to host 1st international football matches in Imphal

Imphal: Manipur is all set to host the first international football matches next month in a tri-nation friendly tournament featuring India, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan at Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal.

The tournament will be from March 20 to 28, 2023.

This was announced by chief minister N Biren Singh at a press conference at CM’s Secretariat on Monday in the presence of All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Kalyan Chaubey and AIFF’s secretary general Shaji Prabhakara.

While highlighting the significance of hosting the international friendly tournament successfully, chief minister N Biren Singh also seeks support from the general public.

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CM Biren also assured that the government will put its best efforts in organising ithe tournament and provide the best facilities.

The chief minister then said the AIFF has given the opportunity of hosting the tri-nation international friendly to the state acknowledging the contribution of the state’s player to the country’s football scene. 

CM Biren Singh also highlighted some names of past footballers from the state who have represented the country in the world platform and present players like Suresh Wangjam, Amarjeet Singh Kiyam, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Hormipam Ruivah, Jaekson Thounaojam, Md Nawaz, etc.  

Manipur has been a great contributor to women’s football as well. Players like Bala Devi, who is one of the best strikers of this generation, captain Ashlata Devi, Dangmei Grace, Elangbam Panthoi Chanu and many more have made the nation proud time and again as well, said the chief minister.

AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey expressed happiness with the chief minister’s 

response to the organising of the friendly tournament. 

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“AIFF is fully aware that Manipur is a football playing state. And the state has produced a huge number of footballers, both men and women, but never before has a national team’s match has been organised in the state,” said Chaubey.

He also highlighted that from the very beginning when the National Football league started in 1995-96 till date, there is atleast one Manipuri player in every club or in the national side.

He continued that the overall hosting of the tri-nation will be done by the Government of Manipur with technical support provided by the AIFF in collaboration with the All Manipur Football Association.

Chaubey also highlighted the possibility of opening a football academy in the state with full technical support, including in sports science, coaches from the AIFF so that each football talent available in the state can be nurtured properly to play in the world stage.

The tri-nation friendly football tournament is part of a series of matches that India will play in the FIFA international window to prepare for next year’s Asian Cup.

The press briefing were also attended by YAS Director T Phulen, officials of All Manipur Football Association (AMFA).

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