Winner gets direct entry to national championship
Dimapur, October 16: Sixteen teams will participate in the 3rd Nagaland State Futsal Championship set to begin on Tuesday at Chümoukedima.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, the Vice President of Chümoukedima District Football Association (CDFA), Imlisunup Ao informed that the competition will be held at JJ Arena from October 17 to 20.
The opening ceremony has been scheduled at 4 p.m. on Tuesday with Advisor to Urban Development Affair Zhaleo Rio as special guest. While CDFA is to hosting the championship, the Nagaland Football Association (NFA) is the organiser.
The organisers had initially allotted one team per district, but three districts could not send their representations. So the three slots were divided among host Chümoukedima and “the two futsal-playing districts”: Dimapur and Kohima
The winner will receive Rs 1 lakh, while the runner-up will get Rs 50,000.
The Vice President of NFA Kiyeka S Sumi explained that there are two reasons why the futsal championship is important.
“The way futsal is played, it suits our physicality very much. We are agile, we are fast and we like to play a skilful game. That (futsal game) suits our Naga youths”, he said.
The other important factor, he said, is the guaranteed ticket to the National Futsal Championship. According to him, futsal teams from Nagaland have been participating in the national competition since the first edition.
The third edition will likely be held in December this year or January next, he said. So, this year’s Nagaland State Futsal Championship will function as a qualifier to the national competition: the winner will represent Nagaland at the nationals.
“We are blessed because there is no other tournament in the country where the State champions get a direct entry to the national finals. But this State Futsal Championship is a ticket to the national finals straightaway”, he said.
According to Kiyeka, if the players perform well at the nationals, there is “a good chance” of their getting selected to the national futsal team. “It is easier to get into the Indian futsal team than the national football team”, he said.
(Page News Service)