Imphal: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday inaugurated the Manipur chapter of the 131st Durand Cup at Khuman Lampak stadium in Imphal.
The Durand Cup, Asia’s oldest football tournament is being held in multiple venues including Kolkata, Imphal and Guwahati. Manipur is hosting 10 group C matches of the Cup.
Singh said it is a “historic day” as Durand cup was being played in Manipur.
He said it shows a huge prestige for the Northeast and is a matter of great pride for the region.
Singh said there is a soldier in a player and a player in a soldier.
“I also believe, the spirit of sportsmanship should be present in politicians too”, Singh said.
“India has been able to achieve a new height in sports competition be it Olympics, Asian Games Or Commonwealth Games in the last six-seven years and prestige of the country has increased in international level,” the Defence Minister said.
Earlier, all attention used to be in cricket but today attention is on sports which received less popularity, Singh said.
Rajnath Singh is on a two-day visit to Manipur.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh in his speech thanked the Indian Army and tournament authority for making it possible to hold Durand Cup matches in the state.
Manipur government announced a half-day holiday on Thursday for all government offices and institutions including schools and colleges to enable employees to watch the inaugural match between two states based teams of NEROCA FC and TRAU FC.
NEROCA FC beat local rivals TRAU FC 3-1 in a group C fixture of the Durand Cup at the Khuman Lampak stadium here on Thursday.
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