Imphal: Chief minister N. Biren Singh on Tuesday visited the Khuman Lampak Sports Complex, here and review various arrangements taken up for the 131st edition of the Durand Cup, the Asia’s oldest football tournament, for which inaugural match in Manipur will be played on Thursday.
Briefing the media during the inspection, Biren appreciated the officials of youth affairs and sports department and Army personnel for working day and night for properly arranging the set up of the tournament.
Many renowned footballers from different Indian clubs including state’s NEROCA and TRAU would participate in the tournament, he added.
Manipur being a land of sports lovers with only around 28 lakh populations had sent seven athletes in the recently held CommonWealth Games 2022 and bagged 5 medals. Knowing the potential of Manipur players, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had established the only Sports University in the state, the chief minister said adding that the state had got the opportunity of hosting the Durand Cup because of the achievements of Manipur sportspersons in different events, he said.
Biren mentioned that the sports department in consultation with technical experts and with the support of army personnel had developed the Khuman Lampak main stadium in a short span, making it one of the best football grounds in the eastern zone. He informed that the government is planning to develop six more such football grounds before the next edition of Durand Cup.
The chief minister was accompanied by youth affairs and sports (YAS) minister Govindas Konthoujam, major general Navin Sachdeva, pincipal secretary (YAS) S.S. Chhabra, secretary (YAS) Namoijam Kheda Varta Singh, director (YAS) T. Phulen Meitei and officials of the department among others.
Union defence minister Rajnath Singh and chief of army staff general Manoj Pande will be visiting the state to witness the inaugural Durand Cup match.