Imphal: For the first time in the state, the Government of Manipur provided financial assistance of Rs 3 lakh each to 15 football clubs participating in the Manipur State League. It was handed over by Chief Minister N Biren Singh in a simple function held at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat on Friday. 

Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Letpao Haokip, Forest, Environment and Climate Change Minister Awangbow Newmai, ADGP Clay Khongsai, Principal Secretary (YAS) S S Chhabra and Director (YAS) T Phulen Meitei were also present.

CM Biren Singh shared that he had personally experience of 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. 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 said. 

The chief minister further stated that there is a need to promote sports culture because it can instill discipline into young minds and build up a healthy society. He stated that 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 (RCC). 

As the state now has good stadiums having flood lighting systems, proper hotels, etc., CM Singh 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 tournament. He also announced that Rs 15 lakh would be provided to AMFA as assistance for the next CC Meet. 

The chief minister further stated that Hockey and some other individual sports will also be encouraged by the government for hosting international competitions. He also announced that traveling allowance for players participating in national events in other states will be hiked from Rs 200 to Rs 500 per player per day. He also urged different sports bodies to shun disunity and factionalism among them.

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