CHIMPU, Feb 11: The first edition of the Indrajit Namchoom Arunachal League is all set to be kicked off at the Sangay Lhaden Sports Academy (SLSA) playground here on Wednesday.
Six teams will be vying for the top honour across 19 matches to be played over a period of a month.
The league will get underway with a match between capital-based clubs Gora Makik SC and Todo United FC. This will be followed by Bamang Taji FC and Keyi Panyor FC on 14 February. Capital Complex FC will meet Kargu Kardi FC on 15 February.
The final will be played on 14 March.
The league is being organised by the Arunachal Pradesh Football Association (APFA), under the patronage of Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, and with support from late Namchoom’s family and relatives.
Football player-turned-politician Namchoom was a renowned footballer of the Northeast and had represented the national junior team in two international championships held in Saigon (Vietnam) and Malaysia in 1964.
He played for Gauhati Town Club from 1962 to 1969 and became the youngest player to represent Assam in the Santosh Trophy in 1959. Namchoom was the captain of the Assam Santosh Trophy team in 1963 and 1964.
Highlighting the importance of such leagues in the state, APFA secretary Kipa Ajay expressed hope that the event would go a long way in providing the much-needed platform to the young players to show their talents.
“It is a great privilege for APFA to organise a football league in the name of a great football player of the state,” he said, adding that the APFA would continue to work for development of football in Arunachal.
Ajay appealed to the football-loving people of the state to come and witness the games, which he said would not only encourage the players but also motivate the APFA.
The winner of the league will be awarded Rs 6 lakhs, he said.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu, who is also the APFA president, Speaker PD Sona, DCM Mein and Sports Minister Mama Natung are expected to attend the opening ceremony, to be held at 1 pm.