Astro-turf football ground in Kohima
Astro-turf football ground in Kohima Image: Northeast Now

An exhibition match between Chief Minister’s XI and Chief Secretary’s XI will be played on the inauguration day of Astro-turf football ground, in Kohima.

Nagaland will get its first Astro-turf football ground at Indira Gandhi stadium in Kohima.

It will be inaugurated by Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio on January 28 in commemoration of 100th birth anniversary of Dr T. Ao.

Dr T. Ao is the first captain of independent India’s Olympic football team at the 1948 London Olympics.

Coinciding with the celebration of Ao’s birth anniversary, Nagaland’s youth resources and sports department, in collaboration with Nagaland Football Association, will organize an Inter District Football Tournament from January 28 to February 2.

The Astro-turf at the stadium was installed at a cost of Rs 4.11 crore under Special Plan Assistance programme of the Centre.

Nagaland Football Coaches Association Roko Angami and also the first Naga footballer to play in the national league said, “It’s a dream come true after so many years.”

He stressed that every district headquarters should have an astro-turf ground to promote football in the state.

Angami hoped that the new ground would provide a platform for young talents to develop and able to compete with other states in the higher levels.

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) ‘A’ licensed coach and AIFF ‘D’ license instructor William Koso said the football players of Nagaland would be put to real test in the new ground if they want to take up football as a profession.

He acknowledged the state government for making the dream of having an Astro-turf football ground reality and hoped that more turf grounds will be built in other districts of the state.

A former assistant coach of Aizwal FC, Koso hoped the state government and the football body will provide good platform for the young footballers of the state.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com

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