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Laurels for Manipur’s coach

Imphal, July 9: Former India skipper and coach Langam Chaoba Devi has cleared the AFC ‘A’ licencee certificate course, becoming the first woman from the Northeast and the third woman in the country to achieve the feat.

Twenty candidates, including two women, enrolled for the course in Calcutta from March 14 to April 9. Only 11 candidates passed the course, conducted by Vincent Subramanium from Singapore and Lim Kim Chon of Malaysia. Apart from Chaoba Devi, the other successful candidates were Raman Vijayan, Prasanta Chakrabarty, Kundan Chandra, Sankarlal Chakravorty, Subroto Dutta, Mridul Kanti Banerjee, Arun Saha, E.S. Shyam, Tarun Dey and Biswajit Bhattacharya.

Talking to The Telegraph, Chaoba Devi said she was very happy with her success as it was her “ultimate dream”. She said, “I give credit to my mentors, teachers, coaches and family members for believing in me and for their whole-hearted support. I also express my gratitude to AMFA for all the encouragement”.

Chaoba Devi, a first class topper with NIS diploma in football coaching from NSNIS Calcutta in 2008-09, earned her AFC ‘C’ licence in 2000 and AFC ‘B’ licence in 2012. She was the lone candidate from Manipur for this year’s AFC ‘A’ licencee certificate course. Currently, she is employed in the department of youth affairs and sports in Bishnupur.

Other than Chaoba Devi, the state has four male AFC ‘A’ licence-holders — Ksh. Birbal, Ch. Shantikumar, L. Nandakumar and S. Ekendra.

Apart from representing India in six internationals and participating in numerous national championships, the 41-year-old Chaoba Devi led the country as skipper of the Indian team in 12th Asian Women Football Championship held in the Philippines in 1999.