|APFA president Takam Sanjoy (centre) and Reading FC adviser Tomo Nomuk (left) sign the MoA in Itanagar on Monday. Telegrah picture
Guwahati, Sept. 30: The Arunachal Pradesh Football Association (APFA) today entered into a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with English Premier League outfit Reading FC to develop football in the hill state.
First, a vibrant and proactive state sports policy and now an engagement that would take soccer — a sport played in every village where even grounds are a rarity — to a level never thought before. Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki is living his dream and vision for a vibrant sporting sector in Arunachal Pradesh inking the new chapter. The memorandum of agreement was signed by Lok Sabha MP Takam Sanjoy, representing the APFA as its president, and Reading FC adviser Tomo Nomuk in the presence of the chief minister, State Sports Authority chairman Tapuk Taku, MLAs Ralom Borang and Techi Kaso, and officials of the sports authority and sports and youth affairs department.
According to the agreement, Reading FC will depute two of its senior coaches to the state to train both players and the local coaches initially for a period of six months. They will hold camps across the state, scout for talent and groom them on a par with world players.
“The agreement is initially for six months but it can be extended if the situation so demands,” Tuki said.
Reading FC will also provide advice and assistance to completely make over other roles crucial to the development of football, including referees and other match officials, managers and recruitment, football academies and infrastructure.
“At the end of six months, don’t be surprised to see the changes in the football arena of our state,” the chief minister, who is also the president of the Arunachal Pradesh Cricket Association, said.
“With the signing of the MoA, my government has kicked off a new era in the sporting sector. We plan to start similar initiatives in other sporting sectors, too, in the future,” said a beaming chief minister.
Justifying the initiative for development of soccer, he said the game has immense potential among the youths of the state, which is played with all enthusiasm in every village and district of the state.
He cited the recent achievement of the state under-19 football team that proved their mettle defeating several developed states of the country in the nationals.
Tuki said the main objective of giving interest to sports and games was to channelise the energy and potential of youths into gainful activities.
“I have promised to bring our youths to the mainstream and sports is the right medium. If I fail to do so, I don’t have the right to sit on this chair (of the chief minister),” Tuki said.