The second oldest football tournament in Manipur- the Shirui Lily Cup, kick-started on Wednesday at Ukhrul.
TFM Ukhrul Correspondent
Organised by Ukhrul District Sport Association (UDSA) under the aegis of AMFA, the 30th edition of Shirui Lily Cup National Level Football Tournament 2022-23, powered by Samadon Maruti kickstarted on Wednesday at Ukhrul.
Govindas Konthoujam, Minister of Works, Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of Manipur attended the opening ceremony as Chief Guest. Football promoter Dr. Somi Sareo unfurled the UDSA flag and declared the tournament open in the presence of SP Ukhrul, Ningshem Vashum, who is also the Chairman of the Organising Committee of Shirui Lily Cup 2022-23.
Minister Govindas Konthoujam stated that “Ukhrul District, which shares an international boundary with Myanmar, has the potential to become hub of trade and commerce of Manipur. The state government has already proposed for the establishment of three Border Haat to boost the economy. To develop our trade and commerce, the completion of National Highway 102(A) is very important.”
The visiting Minister Govindas Konthoujam expressed his concern and his personal interest in developing the Ukhrul district with good infrastructure. Minister Govindas remarked on why the football ground (the venue for the ongoing Shirui Lily Cup) is not developed and lacking the standard and quality. He informed that the state government is ready to invest and pump funds and appeal to the people of Ukhrul to settle the dispute first and at the earliest. He urged both the conflicting parties to bring amicable solution at the earliest in spite of their differences in opinion, looking at the greater interest of the sport loving persons of the district.
“Everything is possible when we come together in letter and spirit,” he added
The Minister lauded Ukhrul district for producing many national football players and expect more even in the days to come. He also announced that the present state government under the leadership of CM N. Biren Singh, a memorandum, has been signed with All India Football Federation ( AIFF) for the establishment of Football Academy in Manipur and is the first of its kind in the North East India. The government is also planning to set up better sporting infrastructure in all the districts of Manipur for grooming more players, especially in the field of football.
Additional District Magistrate ( ADM) of Ukhrul, Chunglenmang Kipgen, who is also the Vice Chairman of Organising Committee of Shirui Lily Cup 2022-23 felicitated the visiting Minister with traditional Tangkhul head gear, spear, and longpi pot.
The opening ceremony was also attended by Col. Manoj Shinde, Commandant, 35 Assam Rifles, Thotreithing Chalamva, Dy. CO, 6th Manipur Rifles, Akui L Shimray, DGM, MSPDCL-Ukhrul and senior members of UDSA.
A total of 12 teams, from Imphal, Ukhrul, Kamjong, Kangpokpi, Chandel, Churachanpur and Noney are participating in the tournament.
In the first kick-off match, Youth Organisation Sporting Club (YOSC), Imphal defeated Charlao FC, Ukhrul, by a score margin of 2-1. In the second match, Liwangchayang Youth & Cultural Club (LYCC) of Chandel defeated The Shepherd Football Academy (TSFA) of Churachandpur by a solitary goal.
The cash prize for the winner has been fixed at Rs. 4,00,000 and Runners Up at Rs. 2,00 000. UDSA was established in 1971 and the Shirui Lily Cup was nationalised in 2008 and it is the second oldest football tournament in Manipur.