Wungngayam Muirang, 20, who is currently playing for FC Pune City as a midfielder, was adjudged the ‘Player of the Year 2019’ as well as ‘Players Player of the Year’ Credit: EastMojo image

Ukhrul: Sensing the need to recognise and show appreciation to young sportspersons of the district, the Tangkhul Football Players’ Association (TFPA) on Friday organised its first TFPA Award Night 2019 at the town hall in Ukhrul district of Manipur.

Founded in June 2018 under the theme ‘Unite and Rise’, the association aims to assist the professional soccer players in terms of moral support and acknowledgment. Moreover, such event aims to provide a common platform to both skilled players and amateurs to interact, and share ideas and techniques and grow the football community in the region.

According to the organisers, the event was said to be the first of its kind, not only in the hill district but also in the state, to recognise and acknowledge the achievements of soccer players in the region.

During the event, Wungngayam Muirang, 20, who is currently playing for FC Pune City as a midfielder, was adjudged the ‘Player of the Year 2019’ as well as ‘Players Player of the Year’. Meanwhile, Minerva Punjab FC player Hormipam Ruivah, 18, was also named the ‘Emerging Player of the Year 2019’ title.

The award night was held by the Tangkhul Football Players Association in Ukhrul, Manipur on Friday

Meanwhile, the ‘Fans Player of the Year’ title was given to Rungsing Muinao, 21, another young football star from the region, who is currently playing for South United FC. The ‘Outstanding Contribution Award’ was given to eight veteran individuals, who had contributed towards the uplift of soccer in the region.

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Reisangmi Vashum, the president of the TFPA, and also a professional soccer player himself, says that sports have been playing an important role to the people, especially youngsters, and keep them away from anti-social activities like drugs, alcoholism, etc.

“We are here today celebrating this beautiful game because we have experienced that playing football can change our lives professionally and individually. Football has been instrumental in building the discipline of the player,” he added.

Echoing the need to focus on the importance of life, Congress MLA Alfred K Arthur said, “One should know the purpose in life. And if playing the game is your calling then you cannot be substantiated, you have to give your commitment and everything.”

Nestled amidst the hills and lakes of Northeast India and located about 84 km from the state capital Imphal, Ukhrul district is home to the Tangkhul Naga community. Over the years, this small hamlet has produced more 200 professional players and over 80 players, at present, are playing for various elite clubs based in Manipur and elsewhere in India.

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