| OIL Duliajan players (in yellow) in action during their quarter-final match against Salbagan in the C.K. Sarma football tournament in Dibrugarh. File picture |
Dibrugarh, June 13: The stage is set for the clash of titans in Dibrugarh where holders Oil India FC, Duliajan will face Assam Police in the final of the C.K. Sarma Invitation Football Tournament on Monday.
Soccer enthusiasts who missed out on most of the action of the football tournament in Dibrugarh because of excessive rain will also be happy, as the weather has cleared up.
“Even if we sit hooked to the television till well past midnight to watch the live action from South Africa, we will definitely turn up for the big match here as well,” said Devanjan Hazarika, a lecturer in the department of mathematics of Dibrugarh Hanumanbax Surajmal Kanoi (DHSK) College, here.
Hazarika, despite his busy schedule, makes sure that he is at the Chowkidingee playground — the venue for the C.K. Sarma meet — everyday to watch some of the best teams of the state battle it out on the muddy field to prove their calibre. Hazarika is rooting for the Assam Police team. “Football has always been a popular sport in Assam. We need to support our own Robijit Zingdung (Assam Police’s star striker) and his kind so that the glorious days of Assam football come back,” Hazarika said.
Equally enthusiast is Hazarika’s doctor friend Prasanta Sonowal, who too had made sure that despite his busy schedule in a private nursing home as a medicine specialist, he gets time to watch the matches of the C.K. Sarma meet.
“Our organisers, despite constraints and odds on various fronts, do an excellent job to host tournaments like the one going on. Therefore, it is our duty to contribute by at least coming to the ground,” Sonowal said.
The tournament’s organisers — Dibrugarh District Sports Association — had to face severe hardships in conducting the tournament because of inclement weather, which continued almost throughout the competition.
“There were only a few spectators in the initial days of the meet because of the rain. Otherwise, people come in thousands whenever there is a football meet at Chowkidingee playground. With the weather clearing up we hope there would be a good turnout for Monday’s final,” the football secretary of DDSA, Jayanta Bijoy Sarma, said.
In the second semi-final played on Saturday, Assam Police defeated former runners-up Green Valley Sports Club, Guwahati, by 2-1 goals.
With a strong defence and balanced attacking side, defending champions Oil India FC are definitely the favourites this time too.
However, arch rivals Assam Police too displayed good soccer skills during the tournament and with coach Tosen Bora predicting a tough fight, football fans can only expect a humdinger of a final on Monday.