Nagaland set to host North East Dr. T Ao Trophy from Jan 20

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Kohima, January 18: Nagaland is all set to host the North East Dr. T Ao Trophy 2020 from January 20 to 28 next at Indira Gandhi Stadium here, some 5 kms from the state capital.
Altogether 8 teams from all North Eastern states will be vying for the coveted trophy, said Advisor to Chief Minister Abu Metha while addressing a press conference here Saturday.
He said the tournament is being hosted in commemoration of the 100th Birth Anniversary of Dr T Ao, the legendary barefooted Naga footballer, who led the Indian team in the Olympic.
The tournament will be held on league come knock out basis, he said, adding that this is the second time that Nagaland is hosting the tournament.
The state hosted the first edition in 2009 while this is the second time.
The champion will receive cash award of Rs 10 lakh with trophy and citation while runners-up will get Rs 6 lakh with trophy and certificate and the third place and fourth place winners will receive Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh respectively.
The inaugural programme will be graced by Nagaland Governor R N Ravi at 9 am while the tournament will culminate on January 28, the birth anniversary of the legendary footballer Dr. T Ao.
The opening match will be played between the host state Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
The officials also informed that free bus service will be provided for football fans and spectators throughout the tournament from High School Junction to IG Stadium.
Officials coordinating the tournament, Commissioner and Secretary Y Kikheto Sema, Secretary for Youth Resources and Sports Department (YRS) Alun Hansingh, Director YRS Akumla Chuba and Technical Director of the tourney William Koso were also present during press conference.
‘NE hub of talented sportsperson’
Nagaland Advisor for Youth Resources and Sports, MLA Zale Neikha today said that North East region is a hub of talented sportsperson as the region has been able to produce many excellent sportspersons to bring laurels to the nation.
In his message to the people of the state ahead of North East Dr T Ao Trophy to be held in Kohima from January 20, Neikha said today North-east has the potential of becoming a hotspot for young budding sportspersons to excel and become professionals.
In recent times, he said, the region has been able to produce many excellent sportspersons in varied disciplines who have participated at International levels and brought laurels to our country.
Warmly welcoming the teams from the region, Neikha said “As you come here to Nagaland, I want you all to feel at home and make your stay enjoyable and memorable”.
At the same time, he appealed to all the players to play in the true spirit of the game, showcasing their talents to the best of your ability.
He further expressed hope that the beautiful game of football will be a platform for spreading message of love and peace and coexistence as a family.
Meanwhile, Neikha said the PDA government under the leadership of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, understanding the need for a standard stadium in the state, took keen interest in the development of the stadium.
Keeping in mind the schedules of the trophy, the Department of YRS and stakeholders has been working 24×7 in overseeing that no stone is left unturned in the developmental works being carried out at the stadium.
In this, the YRS advisor appealed to all fellow Naga citizens to make their time out and witness the grand sporting event at Indira Gandhi Stadium.
Teams arrive for Dr T Ao trophy
Football teams representing Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Assam arrived Nagaland early Saturday morning for the Dr T Ao Trophy. The reception committee Dimapur received the various teams from Blue Hill station Dimapur after which they were put up at Youth Hostel Dimapur for brief halt. After refreshment the various teams left for Kohima for the Dr T Ao North East Football Championship to be held at IG Stadium Kohima. The rest of the teams would be arriving Saturday night by train.
(Page News Service)