Selected to represent India, Manipur footballer’s fate hangs in passport office’s hands
Manipuri footballer Lemmet Tangvah

Guwahati: Promising Manipur footballer Lemmet Tangvah, picked in the Indian Under-17 team for the upcoming exposure tour of Spain as part of the preparations for the AFC Qualifiers, finds his fate in a bureaucratic tangle and awaits the arrival of his passport.

A product of the famous Chandigarh Football Academy, led by seasoned coach Ankur Khanna, the young forward from Nungbi Khullen village of Ukhrul district in Manipur, had applied for his passport on February 7 but is yet to receive the crucial document, thereby hanging his chances of representing the national side by a thread.

“He had applied for the passport on February 7 under the normal category, but is yet to receive it. We, on the part of the AIFF, have also written to the Passport offices to expedite and treat his case as a special one as he is going to represent the country, even though we understand he should have applied for a Tatkal passport in the first place,” an AIFF insider told EastMojo from the ongoing national camp in Goa.

The 16-year-old Lemmet is currently attending the U-17 national camp at the AIFF training centre in Fatorda, Goa.

Lemmet, an attacking forward, was recently adjudged ‘best player’ at the 61st Subroto Cup under-17 boys football tournament after his team – Government Model Higher Secondary School, Chandigarh finished runner-up with a narrow 0-1 defeat to Pilgrim Higher Secondary School, Dimapur, in the summit clash held at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi. His coach Ankur Khanna was declared the ‘best coach’ of the tournament.

Accordingly, Lemmet was invited for the selection trials of the Under-17 national team in Goa and was asked to get his passport ready before the exposure trip to Spain.

While coach Khanna is hopeful that his ward will receive the required document on time before the team departs on March 31, Lemmet’s elder brother Worchi is frequenting the passport office in Imphal for regular updates.

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“I visited the passport office here yesterday, and they are saying that the police verification process and other formalities have been cleared from their end in Manipur, and the ball is now in the regional head office in Guwahati,” Worchi said.

“As far as the Guwahati office is concerned, they are saying that the process has been expedited and the applicant can expect the physical copy of the passport in a couple of days,” he added. 

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