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22 teams to vie for CEM Cup honours

Nagaon, Aug. 5: The Dima Hasao District Sports Association’s flagship event, the CEM Cup football tournament, will kick off at the NL Daologupu Sports Complex in the district headquarters town of Haflong from September 1.

Altogether 22 teams, including 12 home teams, will participate in the tournament.

Prize-money of Rs 1 lakh to the champions and Rs 50,000 to the runners-up are the highlights of the 8th CEM Cup tournament.

DSA general secretary Thai-tshu Daologupu said 10 teams from outside the district, including teams from neighbouring Silchar, Karbi Anglong, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, will be participating.

After the District Sports Association discontinued the NL Daologupu football tournament, the CEM Cup became the biggest football event in the hill district in 1998.

However, the tournament was discontinued in the district till 2010 because of unrest.

“Outside teams will participate in the meet from the quarter-finals stage. We had invited defending champions Siphir Football Club of Mizoram and runners-up Dimapur District Sports Association, but they will not participate this time because of various constraints,” Daologupu said.

The association increased the CEM Cup prize-money from Rs 80,000 to Rs 1 lakh for the champion’s team this year.

Dima Hasao District Autonomous Council chief executive member Debojeet Thaosen will attend the inaugural ceremony as the chief guest.

The two semi-finals will be held on September 20 and 21.

The final match is scheduled for September 23.

“We want a better and sports friendly atmosphere in the district and all possible attempts are being made to bring back the lost glory of the district in the field of sports. It is our attempt to reveal before the nation that decade-long trouble and unrest are a closed chapter in this hill district of Assam,” said chief executive member Thaosen.