For the first time, Manipur is co-hosting the Durand Cup, one of the oldest football tournaments, along with Assam. This is the 131st edition of the tournament.
Imphal: The entire North-East region has ushered in a new era of fast-paced development under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the Khuman Lampak Man Stadium in Imphal on Thursday while inaugurating the first-ever Durand Cup match (NEROCA FC vs TRAU FC) ever to be played in the North-Eastern state.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande and GOC-in-C Eastern Command Lt Gen RC Tiwari were among those present during the inaugural ceremony. For the first time, Manipur is co-hosting the Durand Cup, one of the oldest football tournaments, along with Assam. This is the 131st edition of the tournament.
Singh stated North-East has set new records in the fields of health, education, transport, agriculture and urban development in the last few years, which is a testament to the government’s unwavering commitment to ensure holistic development of the region.
“The government believes in ensuring progress of all states and Union Territories. Special emphasis is being given to infrastructural development in far flung areas. We have connected the remote areas with the mainland by providing connectivity,” Singh said.
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He added that the first Durand Cup match in Manipur, at a time when the country is celebrating the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, symbolises the rise of a ‘New India’, in which every region and state is moving forward hand-in-hand to take the country to greater heights.
Singh voiced the government’s resolve to encourage all kinds of sports and said due to the efforts in the last few years, India has scaled newer heights of success in major sporting events such as Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. “Players from all regions in the country are now getting equal opportunities, the results of which are now visible,” he said.
Singh, while highlighting a number of similarities between sportspersons and Armed Forces personnel, said, “Dedication, commitment, loyalty, team work, discipline and the spirit of patriotism are some of the common traits in sportspersons and Armed Forces personnel. This is why there is a reflection of a soldier in a sportsperson and sportsperson in a soldier.”