Chief Minister N Biren Singh

Imphal: Manipur will host the ‘Hero Tri-Nation International Football Friendly’ tournament from March 20 to 28, 2023 in Imphal.

The tournament will feature teams from India (ranked 106 by FIFA), Kyrgyz Republic (ranked 94 by FIFA), and Myanmar (ranked 159 by FIFA).

During a press conference on Monday, Chief Minister N Biren Singh announced the tournament and appealed for support from the general public. He emphasized the importance of hosting the event successfully and stated that the government will make every effort to ensure its successful organization.

The Chief Minister emphasized the importance of utilizing the opportunity presented by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for the state to host the tri-nation international friendly tournament. He asked for the public’s support in attending the matches and recognized the state’s contribution to the country’s football scene.

The Chief Minister also highlighted the names of past and present football players from the state who have represented the country on a global platform, including Suresh Wangjam, Amarjeet Singh Kiyam, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, Hormipam Ruivah, Jaekson Thounaojam, and Md Nawaz.

The President of the AIFF, Kalyan Chaubey, expressed his happiness with the Chief Minister’s response to the organization of the tournament. He acknowledged that Manipur is a football-playing state and that there has been at least one player from the state in every club or in the national team since the start of the National Football League in 1995-96.

The state has previously sent players to the National teams, and the AIFF now wants to bring the Indian National Senior team to the state for the first time, according to the President of the AIFF. He added that the Government of Manipur will be responsible for the overall hosting of the tri-nation tournament, with technical support provided by the AIFF in collaboration with the All Manipur Football Association.

Additionally, Chaubey highlighted the potential for opening a football academy in the state, complete with technical support including sports science and coaches from the AIFF, to properly nurture the football talent in the state and prepare them for playing on the world stage.

The press briefing was attended by the Secretary General of the AIFF, Shaji Prabhakaran, the YAS Director, T Phulen, and officials from the All Manipur Football Association.

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