Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio
Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio with the players of Mizoram and Sikkim teams before the start of the final match of North East Dr. T. Ao Trophy at Indira Gandhi Stadium in Kohima on Tuesday. Image credit - Northeast Now

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio on Tuesday said the state government is formulating a comprehensive long-term game plan to develop sports in Nagaland.

Neiphiu Rio said in the preparation of the game plan, the state government has collaborated with the Nagaland Olympic Association, the government of India and the Indian Olympic Association.

“We assure you that in the near future, we hope to not only produce champions but also host national and international events and championships here in Nagaland,” Rio said while gracing the closing ceremony and finals of the North East Dr. T. Ao Trophy at Indira Gandhi Stadium in Kohima.

While attending the event as the special guest, chief minister Neiphiu Rio said all sections and stakeholders must work together as a cohesive unit and each citizen is a member of ‘Team Nagaland’ in this direction.

He said Dr Talimeren Ao was India’s first captain of the Indian football team at the London Olympic Games in 1948.

He has remained as one of the greatest sons of Nagaland and a legendary figure, who will inspire every generation, said Rio.

Chief minister Neiphiu Rio also said, “He was a champion, a nation builder and an icon who proved that no dream is impossible if one truly desires.”

Rio thanked all organisations, government departments and individuals who made the 2020 edition of the championship a grand success.

“I extend my appreciation to all the participants, who played in the championship in an exemplary spirit of sportsmanship, and my chief minister colleagues of the northeastern states who have sent their teams,” he said.

He also said the championship has exemplified the fraternity of the northeastern states and hoped that the people will continue to build bonds of friendship under the spirit of unity and mutual coexistence so that together people can rise.

The Nagaland CM expressed gratitude to the sports lovers and football fans that have come out in thousands to support not just the teams but also the championships as a whole.

He said the success of the event is because of the positive support of the people of Nagaland.

The Task Force for Music and Arts performed cultural fusion music and dance while Mengu Suokhrie and the band presented special numbers.

Bhadra Gogoi

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