|Hussili Sema shakes hands with the footballers before the match in Dimapur on Thursday. Picture by UB Photos
Golaghat, Aug. 16: A friendly football match to mark Independence Day was played between Dimapur District Veteran Football Association of Nagaland and Golaghat District Sports Association of Assam where the former won by 3-1.
The match was played at the Dimapur district sports council playground where the Assam side was represented by Sanjib Handique and the Nagaland side by Dosi Aao.
While talking to The Telegraph, Jacob Yungthan, SDO (agriculture) of Dimapur and the secretary of Dimapur District Veteran Football Association, said the decision was taken keeping in mind the long relationship that they share with their neighbours.
The decision to organise the match was taken during a co-ordination meeting of Dimapur district, headed by deputy commissioner Hussili Sema, who is also the president of Dimapur district sports council.
This is for the first time a team from the neighbouring state has been invited to celebrate Independence Day, Yungthan said.
“We have already created the atmosphere and we want this relationship to strengthen and we should nurture it. This relation is a treasure for both the states and this message has already been conveyed,” Yungthan said.
Dinesh Gogoi, vice-president of Golaghat District Sports Association, told The Telegraph that during the Ahom rule, the Naga people used to call Assamese people Haji, meaning friend, and they are very hopeful that through this kind of sporting events they can bring back the warmth.
“At a time when Assam and Nagaland are embroiled in bitterness, this type of initiative could be a harbinger of peace for people of both the states,” Gogoi said.
Dimapur deputy commissioner Hussili Sema said the football match would promote brotherhood, understanding and co-operation between the two states.
Several top Nagaland government officials were present at the occasion.