TODAY -
Manipur to meet AP in the Dr.T Ao tourney opening
Source: Atom Samarendra

Imphal, March 14: Host Manipur will meet Arunachal Pradesh in theopening match of the second editon of Dr.T Ao Doner footbal tournament beginning on Monday at Mapal Kangjeibung here.

The tournament is being organised by Sports Authority of India (SAI) Imphal centre, Manipur government and All India Football Federation under the sponsorship of department of Develoment of Northeastern Region (DONER) and All India Football Federation.

Eight north eastern states including Sikkim and two teams of SAI (Blue) Manipur and SAI (Red) Assam are participating in the championship.

All the teams have arrived Imphal today.

The tournament is organised in the memory of Dr.Talimeren Ao, who led the Indian football team in the 1948 London Olympics.

Medical practitioner by profession Dr.T Ao passed away in 1988 leaving a legacy behind to be learnt by the present day sportspersons.

In respect of such pioneer sportsperson of the region DONER instituted the tournament in his name last year.

In the inaugural edition host Assam defeated India's best football team Manipur in the tie break.

Manipur Governor Arvind Dave will grace the opening ceremony on Monday as chief guest.

The particiating tem team are grouped as A: Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, SAI (Blue) Manipur and B: Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and SAI (Red) Assam.

The cluster league matches will be played at Mapal Kangjeibung and the semi-finals and final matches will be held at Khuman Lampak main stadium.

Special trophies will be awarded to the best striker, best goalkeeper, best defender and twentyfive talented players belonging to student community will be spotted and recommended for the consideration of SAI scholarships.

Manipur will meet Arunchal Pradesh on the inaugural match tommorow at 2 pm.

Coach of Manipur team M Ratankumar said host team will try its best to show better performance than last year.

Saying none of the rival team will not take easily Ratan further said that Manipur will try to play mostly in 3-5-2 format subject to the format of its rivals.

He exudes confidence that host team will show best performance as most of the players in the team have already been represented in super division and senior divison leagues apart from having number of players who represented Manipur in national championships.

Meanwhile, director in-charge of SAI Imphal and organising seceratry L Tiken during a press conference this afternoon said all the participating team have arrived Imphal today and they are being accomodated at SAG hostel and sports hostel of state youth affairs and sports department.

SAI is pursuing AIFF to give recogniton to the tournament and include in their calendar, Tiken said.

Once the AIFF give recogniton to this tournament, it can be organised in grand manner.

Director of DONER S.K Malik who attended the press conference said DONER is paying special interest in the development of games and sports in the region in gereral and Manipur in particular.

DONER has sanctioned a total amount of Rs.23 lakh for the tournament, he said.

Replying to queries he informed that DONER is looking for giving cash award to the winner and runners up in the tournament in near future.

Director in-charge of SAI, sub-Centre Guwahati Subhas Basumatary also attended in the press conference.

Fixture: League round matches.

March 15: Manipur vsVs Arunachal Pradesh.

March 16: Assam vs Sikkim; Mizoram vs Nagaland.

March 17: Manipur vs SAI (Red) Assam; Meghalaya vs Tripura.

March 18: Nagaland vs Sikkim; Mizoram vs SAI (Blue) Manipur.

March 19: Meghalaya vs Arunachal; Tripura vs SAI(Red) Assam.

March 20: Nagaland vs SAI (Blue) Manipur; ASSAM VS Mizoram.

March 21: Arunachal vs SAI (Red) Assam; Meghalaya vs Manipur.

March 22: Assam vs SAI(Blue) Manipur; Mizoram vs Sikkim.

March 23: Manipur vs Tripura; Meghalaya vs SAI (Red) Assam.

March 24: Sikkim vs SAI(Blue) Manipur; Assam vs Nagaland.

March 25: Tripura vs Arunachal.

Semi-finals.

March 26: Winner of Group B vs Runner of A ---- X.Winner of Group A vs Runner of B ---- Y.

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