Imphal: For the first time, Manipur government provides a financial assistance of Rs 3 lakh each to 15 football clubs participating in the Manipur State League.
The financial support cheques were handed over by chief minister N. Biren Singh and youth affairs and sports minister (YAS) Letpao Haokip in a function held at the chief minister’s secretariat on Friday.
Climate change minister Awangbow Newmai, ADGP Clay Khongsai, principal secretary (YAS) S.S. Chhabra and director (YAS) T. Phulen Meitei were present at the occasion.
Biren said he had personally experienced how difficult it is to run a sports club and bring it up to the state or national level. Club executives usually go through different inconveniences in meeting the expenses of their clubs. As such, the state government decided to provide at least some financial help to the football clubs, which produce players at the state level, he added.
There is a need to promote sports culture because it can instill discipline into young minds and build up a healthy society. The state government had started providing refreshment at the rate of Rs 15 per day per player to the trainees of the Regular Coaching Centre, he added.
As the state now has good stadiums having flood lighting systems, proper hotels, etc. Biren opined that the state can also host international events. In this regard, he appealed to All Manipur Football Association (AMFA) to put in efforts to upgrade CC Meet as an international football tournament.
Biren announced that Rs 15 lakh would be provided to AMFA as assistance for the next CC Meet. He also announced that traveling allowance for players participating in the national events in other states will be hiked from Rs 200 to Rs 500 per player per day.
The chief minister said Hockey and some other individual items will also be encouraged by the government for hosting international competitions.
He also urged different sports bodies to shun disunity and factionalism among them.