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Plan to bring youths to field

- Campaign to popularise local football

Hailakandi, June 24: As football fever grips the globe, sports journalists in the Barak valley have hit upon a plan to popularise the game among youngsters in Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts.

The Barak Upatyaka Krira Sambadik Sanstha has launched a publicity campaign under which photos and posters with slogans will be put up on streets in the three districts.

Some of the slogans are — “Chalo jai mathe football dekhte (Let’s go to the ground to watch football)”, “Pravinra mathe, navinra kuthay? (Veterans are on the field, where are the youngsters?)”, “Phanka mathe goal hochche, chalo mathe jai, football dekhi, football barai (Goals are being scored in empty grounds, lets go and watch the match and develop football)”.

Debashis Shome, the general secretary of the Sanstha, said the campaign was started here on Thursday and will be extended to the other towns.

“There was a huge turnout during the exhibition match between Mohun Bagan and Shillong Lajong at Satindra Mohan Dev Stadium on May 1. But the crowd has gone missing for the ongoing Ramanuj Gupta Trophy Super Division league matches. We feel ashamed to cover league matches as we find only veteran footballers and organisers watching them. We hope our initiative will help popularise local football,” he said.

Silchar DSA ground secretary Chandan Sharma said they expected a huge turnout for the league matches but were left “frustrated” to see the empty stands. The DSA extended support to the initiative.

A team from the Sanstha met APDCL general manager (south Assam zone), K.K. Chakraborty, and submitted a memorandum requesting him to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the World Cup and the ongoing league matches.