Sports provide a platform for people to come together sans any line of divisions. Sports know no race but promote optimistic thinking. As such, there is the ever rising need to encourage sports and sporting events in the State against the backdrop of multiple social turmoils.

This was stated by Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Shri Letpao Haokip at the opening ceremony of the State level Subroto Mukerjee Football tournament, 2017 at District Sports Complex, Wangjing in Thoubal district today.

Declaring the tournament open, Shri Letpao Haokip, who was also a footballer himself, further said that one of the most positive things about sports is the pure joy that can result for everyone involved.

Sports can have positive impacts in society. Sport interventions can reduce turmoil by developing trust within communities. Good moral characters can also be infused on the youth through sports activities. Therefore, all concerned should encourage sports to the stage it deserves, Shri Letpao Haokip said.

The colourful opening ceremony was also attended amongst others by Shri L Nabakishwar, DC, Thoubal; Shri N Praveen, Director, YAS and Shri Col JC Hajarnis, Commandant, 2nd Assam Rifles, Thoubal as the dignitaries.

A total of 15 teams representing 15 districts of the State (except Kamjong district) — Bishnupur, Chandel, Churachandpur, Imphal East, Imphal West, Jiribam, Kakching, Kangpokpi, Noney, Pherzawl, Senapati, Tamenglong, Tengnoupal, Thoubal and Ukhrul— will vie for the top honour.

Meanwhile, in the opening match of the tournament, hosts Thoubal notched a comfortable 3-0 win against 10-men Noney. Although Noney fielded 11 players, one was rejected after medical examination/verification.

Right from the first whistle, Thoubal boys were in command of the match. Thoubal boys created some chances although they could not convert them due to poor finishing. However, Premkanta Meetei rose to the occasion and slammed home the opener for the hosts’ team in the 18th minute.

A couple of minutes later, Dingku Meetei netted another goal for the home team to double the lead and the two teams went to the break with Thoubal boys’ 2-0 lead intact.

The two sides bounced back with renewed vigour to alter the score-line. The hosts’ team however continued playing attacking game. Leingakpa scored the third goal for Thoubal team in the 47th minute and that eventually sealed the team’s victory.

Even as the Noney boys pushed hard to reduce the margin, if not found the equalizers, the Thoubal defenders denied their rivals’ forwards to make any inroads inside their citadel.

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