In a boost to budding football talent in the State, Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Wednesday said his government will soon develop three astro-turf football grounds — one each in Imphal West, Imphal East and Thoubal. Eight players from Manipur, the little powerhouse of sports in India, are among India’s 21-member soccer squad in the World Cup.
A former footballer himself, Biren said the artificial turf would enable players to play football throughout the year. Concerned officials have been asked to prepare a detailed project report on the matter, the chief minister said while inspecting the ongoing repairing work being taken up at Khuman Lampak sports complex here. Biren said the Khuman Lampak main stadium ground is being developed into the football field of international standards with natural grass turf fields and would be completed before the commencement of the I-league tournament next month.
Biren also urged sports associations of the state to step forward and coordinate with the government. Under the Khelo India scheme, a national sports development programme, every block of the State will have a playground to encourage the sporting culture among youths in the country.