Sports

Kohima Football League kicks off

Kohima Football League kicks off
Dr. Nicky Kire with players of Ziekezou SC and United 16 FC, organizers and referees before the opening match. (NP)
Correspondent Kohima, Jul 17 (NPN) | Publish Date: 7/18/2018 12:44:32 AM IST
ZIEKEZOU SPORTING CLUB WIN OPENING MATCH
The 2nd edition of Kohima Football League (KFL), organized by Kohima Town Club (KTC), got underway Tuesday with advisor for Rural Development, Dr. Neikiesalie Nicky Kire gracing the inaugural function as special invitee.
In the opening match, Ziekezou Sporting Club registered an easy 4-1 win over United 16 FC. Menoneikho of United 16 FC scored the first goal of the tournament in the 12th minute; however, Mhasbeituo Yhome found the equalizer in 30th minute. 
After the lemon break, Vilhoubeituo Yhome of Ziekezou SC scored the second and third goals in the 55th and 67th minute. Neikethozo Yhome (vice captian) scored the 4th goal in the 84th minute.  
Earlier, speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr. Kire lauded KTC for organizing the league. He said that organizing such football league in the state was necessary to groom the football players. Encouraging the players, he said, “today the sportspersons are earning more than the government employees.” 
He also reminded the players that they have to be determined, disciplined and dedicated to be a successful sportsperson. 
KTC president, Dr. Viketoulie Pienyü in his presidential address said the club has been working hard to bring about more improvement in the league. 
He also informed that the league is being conducted as per the norms of Nagaland Football Association (NFA) and All India Football Federation (AIFF) and will have the standard double leg league stretched over 35 days this year. KFL-2 theme is “football as a career” and it will pay special focus on some key concepts, said Pienyü. 
While stating that Indian Super league (ISL) has opened the door for every aspiring footballer to make a successful career in football with handsome earnings, Pienyü said, “Nagaland has a serious unemployment crisis and hope some of the players can find gainful employment through football.”
Pienyü also said that KTC is on full throttle “mission mode” to bring about a radical shift in the way people look at players. 
“The club want to say the positive side of football story to the society that there is fame, glory and fortune in football and wish to redeem Nagaland football and help to find a respectable place in Indian football,” he added.
Also speaking at the opening ceremony, tournament convenor, Viketoulie Solo recalled that Nagaland was much respected and remembered for its football exploits during its glory days of 1960’s and 70’s where it reigned supreme in the Northeast. However, today, Nagaland has receded into the background having lost much of its former glory, he lamented.
While pointing out that lack of infrastructures (standard grounds), comprehensive policy for football development, political will, financial resources and lack of professional league were some reasonsfor decline of football in the state, Solo said that KTC would focus in promoting club culture and professionalism in the players.  
Today’s matches
1st match: 12:00 noon
Vanguard FC Vs 
Twenty XI FC 
2nd match: 2:00 pm
Sechü Zubza FC Vs 
Khriekesa FC 

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