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Dr.T Ao an icon: Nikhil

Nagaland Governor Nikhil Kumar (centre), Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio (Left) and Meghalaya’s deputy chief minister B.M Lanong (Right) at the closing ceremony of Dr. T Ao’s 1st Northeast football tournament at DDSC stadium, Thursday. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, NOV 12 (NPN):
Published on 13 Nov. 2009 1:14 AM IST
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Ten days of scintillating football tournament in honour of India’s first Olympic Football Captain Dr. Talimeren Ao, played here at the DDSC stadium attracting huge crowds each day, concluded on Thursday. Gracing the closing function as chief guest Nagaland governor Nikhil Kumar described Dr. Talimeren Ao as one of India’ greatest footballer and the trophy named in Dr. T. Ao’s honour carried much significance for the people of the Northeast. He said the legendary footballer Dr. Talimeren Ao, rose from a humble background and managed to overcome all odds and adversities through sheer hard work to become one of the greatest footballers of our time. For a person like Dr T.Ao , who had a reputation of being the ablest bare foot player and most agile strategist of Mohan Bagan Club in 1948, to be made captain of the first Indian Olympic Football team for London Olympics in 1948, was undisputed, he said. Lauding the organizers of the Dr. T Ao tournament, the Governor said it was an opportunity to celebrate and savor the great life and achievements of one of the most illustrious Nagas- Dr. Talimeren Ao. He also said though north east states participate in various tournaments, the Dr T. Ao trophy brought them together by strengthening the bonds of age old friendship. Nikhil Kumar also called upon the youth of northeast to draw inspiration from the life and achievement of Dr.T.Ao who made dream turn to reality. Meghalaya deputy chief minister B.M. Lanong was the guest of honour at the closing function. Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio, the chief host of the tournament expressed gratitude to the North East Council (NEC) and the DoNER for instituting the tournament to honour Dr. Talimeren Ao whose contribution to Indian sports was unparalleled. He hoped the event has given due honour to Dr.T.Ao and inspire the nation’s youth to emulate an icon . He made a strong plea that the tournament be included in the calendar of tournaments of the All India football Federation (AIFF)and urged NEC, DoNER and AIFF to extend support as with the Subroto cup and other events. He expressed confidence that the Dr.T.Ao trophy would become a national and international tournament in the days to come. He also expressed gratitude to the NE chief ministers for sending their teams and the organizers smooth conduct of the tournament. Rio also urged visiting teams, officials and others to take with them the fond memories of the host state. Later the chief guest, the governor of Nagaland Nikhil Kumar, chief minister of Nagaland Neiphiu Rio and the Deputy Chief Minister of Meghalaya B.M Lanong gave away the prizes and medals to the winners-Manipur XI , the runners up-Nagaland XI and match officials. The closing ceremony also witnessed fire works at the end of the prize distributions.

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