PASIGHAT, Sept 10: Terming 25th Senior Women Football Championship 2019-20 a god-sent event for soccer crazy people of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu it would go a long way in inspiring youths to take up football seriously.
After inaugurating the event in newly built stadium here on Tuesday amidst much fanfare in presence of Union MoS for Youth Affairs and Sports (I/c) Kiren Rijiju, Khandu conveyed his gratitude to All India Football Federation (AIFF) for selecting this state to conduct this prestigious national level tournament and welcomed all players from various states and match officials to the state.
“Football is the most loved and played sport of our people and Pasighat people are particularly crazy for the game. This is an unprecedented opportunity for them to witness senior women players from all over the country sweating it out on the ground,” he said.
The GoAP is giving priority to games and sports for which several stadiums in various places have been built, Pasighat being one, he sid, adding plans are afoot to build similar stadiums in every district of the state so that young talents could be groomed. A programme is on anvil to scout talents of 6 to 10 year age group by conducting yearly tournaments in all the districts, he disclsoed.
Pointing that sports and games have received a boost since Narendra Modi Govt came to power in 2014, he said that the GoI’s Khelo India has been initiated with an eye on the ensuing Olympics. He expressed optimism that India’s medal tally in Olympics would increase manifold under leaderships of Modi and Rijiju.
Appreciating sporting spirit Pasighat people, he especially thanked a women’s SHG Roje Rasseng for sponsoring teams and encouraging football since several years through various tournaments and felicitated its members in appreciation. He also felicitated Oinam Bembem Devi, first and only NE woman to lead the women’s Indian team as captain. He termed her an inspiration for generations to come. He also congratulated Arunachal Pradesh Football Association (APFA) for taking the onerous responsibility of conducting a tournament of such magnitude.
Describing NE as a powerhouse of sporting talents, Rijiju said that this tournament would encourage more youths to take up sports professionally. He said that his ministry would soon start a campaign to encourage women’s football in the country.
“We are going to soon start a under-17 Women’s Football Champion League. We are sure this would encourage women from a young age to take up football besides creating a pool of national and international level players,” he reasoned. He also lauded the efforts of APFA in successful conduct of this tournament, which will witness participation of 30 state teams. He assured his full cooperation and support to the APFA.
Assembly Speaker P D Sona called upon young players to make the best of the opportunity with state’s MP Rijiju heading Union Sports Ministry, who, he said, is committed to support all who excel in sports and games.
“Every sector is developing fast, including sports thanks to the visionary leadership of our Chief Minister Pema Khandu. With Rijiju at the Center and Khandu leading the state, we expect to produce world class athletes and soccer players in years to come,” he added.
State’s Sports & Youth Affairs Minister Mama Natung, Health Minister Alo Libang, legislators Phurpa Tsering, Zignu Namchoom, Kaling Moyong, Lombo Tayeng & Ninong Ering and chief secretary Naresh Kumar, among others, attended the inaugural ceremony. Railways dominated and defeated Mizoram by 4-0 goals in the inaugural match. (CMO)