Kohima: After a gap of two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kohima Town Club (KTC) is set to host Kohima Super Cup from May 16-31 at Kohima’s Indira Gandhi Stadium.

The football tournament will witness participation of 17 teams. 

Addressing a press conference in Kohima on Friday, organizing committee convenor Zedikuolie Kire informed about the change in the nomenclature of the tournament – it was called the Kohima Super League in the previous three editions. He said that the idea behind the change is to encourage participation of more football teams.

The tournament will kick off following a formal ceremony to be graced by Kohima Senior Superintendent of Police (SP) Kevithothu Sophie. 

The winner of the tournament will walk away with a cash prize of Rs 1.80 lakh as compared to Rs 1.20 lakh in 2020. The runner up of the tournament will receive a cash reward of Rs 1.20 lakh. The semi finalist teams will each receive Rs 30,000.

For the first time, individual prizes for the best coach and best referee will be introduced. While the Player of the Tournament will be awarded a sum of Rs 25,000, other individual winners, including most promising player, best midfielder, best defender, best keeper, highest scorer, will each receive a cash reward of Rs 10,000.

Kire informed that the club was formed in 2017, with about 40 members at present, to promote football in Kohima district and in the state. As per the format for this year’s tournament, league matches will begin from the quarter finals onwards. 

Co-convenor Kethozelie Liezietsu said as Naga youth are talented, the non-profit football club is trying its best to promote football and ensure that local players rise to the national and international level. 

To nurture football talents, the KTC has also been training local referees by conducting referee clinics to enhance the quality of football referees and keep them updated with the latest law of the game. For the upcoming tourney, All India Football Federation (AIFF) football instructor Joy chandra will oversee the referee board as the referee assessor. 

KTC president Dr Viketoulie Pienyü added that to improve football in the state, the sport must be promoted at grassroots level. To also make it sustainable, there is a need for strong football club fan base which will promote local football stars.

He said to produce quality players, there is a need for league matches in the state. 

He informed that after the tournament, a team of players will be selected and they will play against national football players from Manipur for a football exhibition match on June 4.

Highlights of the tournament will be available on popular YouTube channel Naga Manu production. Entry fee for spectators will begin with Rs 50 and will increase to Rs 100 from the semi final matches. 

The 17 teams are New Market FC, Crimsoune Club, Highlander’s FC, Secretariat United, Hurricane Boys Phesama, United 4 FC, Sechü FC Academy, IGS XI, G.Sports FC, Barak FC, Wolves XI FC(U-19), A.Yhome FC, United Brothers FC, PRO-D-OG’S FC, Magdaline FC, Naga Brothers, and Aphuyemi FC. 

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