Post Mortem

It only remains to be seen

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 2/6/2019 12:22:05 PM IST

 The All India Football structure has two major leagues - ISL and the I-League. Further the I-League has Division - 2, from where every season top teams are promoted to the I-League top division  and bottom teams from I-League are relegated to I-League division -2.

In most of the clubs, there are a huge number of players from the north-eastern region. Of late some of our Naga players are plying their trade in various clubs. 

North-eastern states like Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Assam has a well structured professional football leagues at their disposal and clubs from these states has participated in the I League top division and has even won it. In this context, it is saddening to state that Nagaland has no mention in our clubs playing in these leagues.  It is solely because we don’t have a football league in our state.  It may be argued that - “we don’t have this and we don’t have that” and that is why we can’t start a football league in our state but that is a debate for some other time.  What we can do and be inspired is to look at our immediate neighbours like Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Assam and look at what they have done and have taken their football to a different level. These states are no “Gold Mining” states and their resources are as good, if not, worse than us. Then how comes they can establish the required platform and we can’t. 

Another aspect where we are missing the trick is that, with the involvement of big business houses in Indian football, there is much to offer for a footballer to turn professional and enjoy the perks it has to offer. Our Government can read this as an employment opportunity (Not a bad option - at a time when our government is finding difficulty in paying salaries to some of its employees). Talent wise, there is not much to be argued. Ours is the land of the legendary  Dr. T. Ao. Football is in our DNA. Given the right platform and facilities, we can manufacturer pools of talent. Our players need not even go out looking for avenues. We can do it in our own backyard.  All we need is purpose, vision and most importantly, a sense of professionalism at every level to make this happen. It was a welcome sight, to finally see an astro turf football ground in our state and subsequently the Inter district football tournament being played on it. But, it was long overdue. We need much than an astro turf ground and the occasional football tournaments.  We need a structured Professional football league and set our football rolling - alive and kicking. If at all there be a time to launch our sporting ambition in our state, this is the time, when the central government is taking a keen interest to promote sports in our country with the ‘Khelo India ‘ initiative.  It only remains to be seen, sadly, if we can go beyond the “Astro – turf”.

Temsu Pongen, Dimapur

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