Sports for environment: Friendly football game btw Nagaland-Manipur on June 4

Kohima: In a first of its kind, Kohima Town Club (KTC) is set to organize a friendly football match between players from Nagaland and Manipur on June 4 to promote the sport and create awareness about environment protection. The match will be powered by the Kohima Forest Division (KFD). 

A team of Indian Super League (ISL) players from neighboring Manipur under the name Kangleipak Pari (Manipur) will play against KTC-XI, a team of top players selected from the recently-concluded Kohima Super Cup 2022.

Both teams, comprising around 20 players each, will play against each other at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Kohima. 

During the jersey launching ceremony held at the Kohima Forest Complex on Thursday, KTC president Dr Viketoulie Pienyü said the proposed friendly football match is scheduled to give an exposure to local players and to reflect on the weakness of the sport in the state through the inter-state match. 

Kohima Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Rajkumar M informed that as part of the Kohima Forest Division’s innovative initiative to spread environment consciousness, it is exploring with sports as a tool to advocate for the protection of the environment among the youth. 

He informed that over 2,000 tree saplings will be distributed to the spectators on a first-come-first basis during the exhibition match, with the hope that these saplings can be planted on World Environment Day (WED) which falls on June 5.

The forest officer said that ahead of the match, a green pledge will be taken by the players and spectators. Jerseys for the match has also been customised with graphics and taglines that resonates with the environmental protection. 

Explaining further, he said that the tagline “Because we only have one earth” is boldly printed on the front of the jersey, in line with WED 2022 theme “Only One Earth”, alongside the logo of Kohima Forest Division. 

The jersey also has diagrammatic explanations of the relationship of man with nature, a picture of the state bird-tragopan. Warming stripes, also known as climate stripes, a data visualization graphic that use a series of colored stripes to portray long-term temperature trends, created in 2018 by Ed Hawkins, is also printed on the jersey that players of both teams will be donning. 

Among the players selected to play for KTC-XI, goalie Neithovilie Chalieu, midfielder Haotingmang Victor Thomgsong, and defender Berithung Humtsoe attended the jersey launching ceremony, which was chaired by Pelebeinuo Khezhie. The ceremony concluded with the note of gratitude pronounced by KTC’s organizing committee convenor Zedikuolie Kire. 

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