Arunachal a sleeping soccer giant: AIFA

Naharlagun, Jan.12: The Arunachal Pradesh Government has decided to increase the financial grant for the Tadar Tang Memorial state level football tournament from Rs.12 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh, said Chief Minister Nabam Tuki.

Participating as the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of the tournament here on Saturday, Tuki said: “In all, 117 players have been recruited by various departments (51-home, 6-power, 11-tax and excise, 1-hydropower, 3 each in UD and education, 2-PWD, 39-SSA and 1-water resources) under the GoAP’s 10 per cent sports quota, sanction accorded for developing multipurpose stadium at Sagalee, Pasighat, Ziro, Daporijo and Yupia, CM’s football and volleyball tournaments for boys and girls up to block level started as commitment of the GoAP to promote games and sports.”

He also inaugurated the tournament.

Describing Arunachal Pradesh as a ‘sleeping soccer giant’ because of the popularity of the game in the state, All India Football Federation vice president Larsing Ming Sawyan has assured the AIFF’s support to Arunachal Football Association to gain greater heights in the game.

While soccer is the number one sports in the world, it is gaining the status of undisputed number two in India with the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) entrusting India the responsibility to host the U-17 Football World Cup Tournament in 2017 in which the U-17 national team would play for the first time as host nation, said Sawyan, also general secretary and MD of North Eastern region’s renowned Lajong Football Club.

Sawyan was speaking as guest of honour of the inaugural function of the 13 Tadar Tang Memorial State Level Football Tournament at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Saturday.

Terming the performance of Arunachal team which he witnessed during the T Ao Football Tournament in Shillong last year, he said that talent is one element and discipline is the other that could help the Arunachalees to cash in on their huge potentials.

Describing the state’s footballer Gumpe Rime, who was Lajong FC captain, as a pioneer who entered the I-League much before his Manipur and Mizoram counterparts, Sawyan disclosed that Lajong had facilitated him to qualify in the C Grade referee license in 2011 and now he has joined the prestigious Tata Football Academy.

More football grounds for the players to play matches and tournaments and more coaches to train them are the fundamentals for the success of the game which is a continuous long drawn process, he said.

He announced to conduct C and D Grade license courses by AIFA for Arunachal besides the Lajong FC to host 15 to 20 footballers selected from the tournament for a week-long tryst with the senior players and U-19 team at Shillong to the thunderous applause of the audience.

The 13th TTMSLFT went to a colourful start with Capital Complex trouncing West Siang in the inaugural match by 6-0 goals. Though the match remained keenly contested without any score till half time but during the rest half the CC team netted one after another goal while the second one was suicidal by the W/Siang player.

AFA president and MP Takam Sanjoy in his address said no sports could grow without discipline and commitment and exhorted the players to reflect their caliber not roughness while playing in the field lest the referee warns you with an yellow or red card. By Pradeep Kumar(ANI)