Itanagar: Chief Minister Pema Khandu was on Thursday re-elected the president of Arunachal Pradesh Football Association (APFA) for the next four years during its annual general body meeting held at Tawang.

Khandu was unanimously elected President of the Association four years ago for the first time.

Thanking APFA members, representatives of various district football associations (DFAs), he said it would be his privilege to lead the body and contribute to the development of football as well as other sports in the north eastern state.

You must understand that as chief minister of the state, I will not be physically available for all decisions and events of the Association. But whenever my personal intervention as president of APFA is needed I will be there, he said.

Khandu asked the APFA to work in close tandem with the department of sports, particularly the district football associations and with the district sports officers, an official communiqu said.

He admitted that help in terms of grants or funds from the government would not suffice as there are about 39 associations of various sports registered with the sports department.

Instead of depending on the government for grants, APFA will associate with business houses and invite them to sponsor events or teams so that young footballers can be groomed while maintaining the popularity of football with the masses, the chief minister said.

Khandu said it is the responsibility of APFA to rejuvenate and review the defunct district football associations.

Setting the tone for future objectives of APFA, the chief minister said his endeavor in the next four years would be to promote women’s football, scout and nurture young talents, allocate one football ground each to all DFAs and enhance the Tadar Tang State Level Football Tournament grant from Rs 20 lakhs to Rs 50 lakhs, which is the only annual event conducted by APFA.

APFA would coordinate with all other sports associations, the Arunachal Olympic Association, the sports department and the State Sports Authority to take forward all sports and games activities in the state, he added.

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