Monday, January 30, 2023

Nagaland Football Association (NFA): Football league likely from next year

Staff Reporter

Nagaland Football Association (NFA) is likely to start a new football league in the state in 2023 by reviving the Nagaland Premier League (NPL), which was earlier started in 2011.
Gracing the 2nd Open Football Tournament organised by Dimapur District Football Referee Association (DDFRA), Dimapur District Football Association (DDFA) president, Mughato Sumi said the chief minister, Neiphiu Rio was interested to “revive the league” and has asked NFA to submit a report by September 2022.

Addressing the players at the tournament held in commemoration with its silver jubilee celebration at DDSC Stadium, Tuesday, Mughato said, “hopefully NPL would be revived next year but not under the same name”. Highlighting the state’s football scenario, Mughato urged the players to take football seriously as the scenario of football in the state has witnessed change after the new team of NFA took over.

“Earlier, we lagged behind others when football or sports is concerned, but now the present NFA team was serious and has taken initiative to develop football in the state,” he said.
He cited the examples, where NFA took the initiative to live telecast the Dr. T. Ao Inter District Football Trophy and the Nagaland Olympic and Paralympic Games especially in football, which has attracted many viewers.

Mughato said by watching the match through YouTube, two players from Dimapur have been recently selected to play in second division league in Kolkata. He reminded the players not to lose heart but keep on practicing until they achieve their goals. Mughato also lamented on the absence of astro-turf ground in Dimapur, despite producing many state players. He called upon the Dimapur based sports bodies, sportspersons, well-wishers and organisations to join in the demand for astro-turf ground in Dimapur.

It may be noted that the state’s top football league was founded in 2011 and managed by NFA. It was formed with a vision to provide platform to local professional players and clubs to enable them participate at national tournaments. But after two-seasons, the league became inactive. Earlier, in the opening match, Merema VYO defeated Rebels FC 1-0 in the opening match. Altogether 15 teams are participating in the tournament which will continue till September 15.

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