Neiphiu Rio
File photo: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio on Friday assured to revive youth activities particularly sports which have stopped for sometimes in the state.

Laying the foundation stone of Dr T Ao Regional Football Academy at Seithekema C here, Rio also assured the Nagaland Football Association to allocate budget to it every year. He also mooted the idea to bring a system where all the districts would have football clubs.

Rio further said the government would discuss and revive policies for sports personnel and conduct tournaments regularly in order to give opportunity to the youths to excel in the field.

Terming the foundation stone laying ceremony of the football academy as a historic occasion, the chief minister said, “Born among the Nagas, he (Dr T Ao) brought laurels not only to his family but to the whole Nagas, so his legacy should live on.”

Rio, who himself is an avid sports lover, stated that involvement in sports teaches one to be disciplined, creates a sense of fair play and team work and keeps all healthy both physically and mentally. He encouraged the younger generation to give importance to sports.

Stating that promotion of sports needs huge financial support, Rio informed that the government would request the union ministry of youth resources and sports for help as the football academy would require investment of more than Rs 100 crore. He was optimistic that the upcoming academy would inspire the young talented sportspersons particularly footballers.

Advisor, youth resources and sports, Zale Neikha, informed that the People’s Democratic Alliance government has come out with a policy to give appointment to sportspersons in different departments under sports quota.

President of Nagaland Football Association Atuo Mezhur thanked the present government for reviving the Dr T Ao inter district tournament and also requested the chief minister for funding and reviving the Nagaland Premier League.

Secretary general, Nagaland Olympic Association, Meren Paul recollected the laudable achievements and the hard work and dedication of the football legend.


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