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Indian Football: Arunachal to introduce football programme in 200 schools

Football

Football in India is at a budding stage. Around the country, the prevalence of the game is mostly in the eastern part of the country, with Kolkata being regarded as the hub of Indian football.

And now, the North-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh is set to launch a programme to promote football in the grassroots department. Arunachal Pradesh government will soon kickstart this campaign which will cover 200 schools in the state, said their Education minister Taba Tedir on Tuesday.

"Every state has been asked to prepare a plan for the initiative. We held a meeting on Monday on the issue. Officers of the Education and Sports departments and members of the Arunachal Pradesh Football Association (APFA) were present in the meeting," he said.

Tedir also confirmed that AIFF and the Education Ministry of India will support this programme, with FIFA also set to provide substantial help to promote the game in the schools.

Their main focus is to unearth future talents in the region who can follow their passion and express their talent through playing football, and probably making a career out of it. Although Football is popular in neighbouring states like Manipur and Mizoram in North-East India, it is still at a nascent stage in Arunachal. And Tedir hopes the programme will popularize the sport in the region.

Football in India

He continued, "Schools having playgrounds and physical education teachers will be selected for the initiative. We will also see that schools having more than 50 to 100 children in the prescribed age group are given preference."

The APFA is targeting the programme to launch in December and Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will be present at its inauguration. AIFF treasurer and APFA secretary Kipa Ajay also confirmed that Arunachal is going to be the first state in the country to have this programme.

Currently, Arunachal Pradesh has their own endemic league named the Arunachal Super League (launched in 2017) and 9 clubs compete in that, with the winners promoted to the I-League 2nd division. Gora Makik SC are the current champions of the tournament and they are the most successful club in the state.

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Story first published: Tuesday, November 22, 2022, 16:45 [IST]
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