The most-awaited Bharat Ratna Babasaheb Dr. BR Ambedkar Memorial Northeast Football Tournament 2019-20 was kicked off on Wednesday at the ONGC Playground in Sivasagar.
The tournament is being organised by the ONGC to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Babasaheb Dr. BR Ambedkar in association with AISCSTEWA, ONGC, Assam Asset.
It aims to promote football in the region and inspire the young generation to indulge in sports.
The grand tournament has been joined by eight teams from different parts of the Northeast.
The teams are ONGC XI; Mising Autonomous Council, Dhemaji; Rynith Sports & Cultural Club, Meghalaya; Jorhat Town Club; ASEB Sports Club; Jampuijala Play Centre, Tripura; North Imphal Sporting Association and Assam Police Blues.
The event was declared open by the chief guest of the inaugural ceremony, Sanjeev Kakran, executive director & asset manager, ONGC, Assam Asset.
Speaking on the occasion, Kakran said since inception ONGC has always been committed to promoting sports.
Sharing his passion for football, Kakran said this is a day for him to rejuvenate old memories of his young days as a footballer.
He conveyed his best wishes to all the participating teams, emphasising the importance of sportsman spirit and urged everyone to carry forward the message of camaraderie and brotherhood.
“Winning is not everything but participation and making an effort to win is,” Kakran added.
Sanjay Goel, CGM-head HR, ONGC, Assam Asset and president of the organising committee, welcomed all the participating teams and conveyed his best wishes to the organising committee of the grand tournament.
PR Mili, honorary president, CWC, AISCSTEWA & vice-president of the organising committee delivered the vote of thanks.
The inaugural ceremony was graced by most of the VCC members, senior ONGCians, representatives from collectives of ONGC and veteran players of ONGC.
Anupam Chetia, organising secretary of the tournament thanked ONGC for the initiative and the Football Federation of India, Assam Football Association and Sivasagar District Sports Association for their support.
During the inaugural match of the BR Ambedkar Northeast Football Tournament, ONGC XI defeated Mising Autonomous Council, Dhemaji by 4-1.
The grand opening ceremony witnessed huge participation of spectators across all age groups.
The prize money for the tournament is Rs 1.50 lakh for the champion and Rs 1 lakh for the runners-up.