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Indian Super League (ISL): Opening Ceremony

Deep Parikh

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Indira Gandhi Stadium

On October 1 Indira Gandhi Stadium will be glowing in its Grandeur as it will be hosting the opening ceremony of the upcoming Indian Super league. The home team, NorthEast United FC will kick start the third edition of the Indian Super League by taking on Kerala Blasters. The decision of hosting the opening ceremony in Northeast signifies the regions passion and contribution to football in India.

Over the years North East has produced some of the finest players for Indian Football. The players belonging to this region are also hailing this decision. They are delighted for the fact that Guwahati will be in spotlight as it readies to host the opening Ceremony for HERO ISL 2016. They are terming this move as recognition of the region for the passion and love that they have for the game.

Players views

Ace striker Jeje Lalpekhlua, who is from a small village of Hnahthial in Mizoram on being asked about the event being held Indira Gandhi Stadium had to say that “I still remember playing the first-ever international match at Indira Gandhi Stadium back in 2011. In the last five years football has really grown in the Northeast region in terms of infrastructure and talent, so it is fitting that this year’s ISL opener is being staged in Guwahati.”

Chennaiyin FC’s Thoi Singh who hails from Manipur, adds, “Getting the distinction of hosting the first ISL game of the season is a reward for the passion that NorthEast has for the beautiful game. I would have loved to play this fixture but of course will be looking forward to our away game there as the atmosphere in Guwahati is always electrifying.”

Seityasen Singh, who is NorthEast United FC’s local player, says, “I feel extremely proud that Guwahati is the venue for this year’s opening ceremony and I am happy that I shall be able to play on such a huge occasion against a team that also has a huge fan-base like ours.

“I am also delighted about the fact that the North-East can now draw the attention of the footballing fraternity towards itself via this event in Guwahati. Ever since the ISL has started, it has drawn the eyes of the entire country towards it. I am hopeful that the opening ceremony shall send out a message to everyone concerned about the importance of this region and highlight the importance that it holds in the annals of Indian footballing history.”

Indian Super league

John’s views

John Abraham who is the owner of the NorthEast United FC is very excited about the opening game. He believes that hosting the opening ceremony will further boost the sport in the region which would in turn inspire many budding youngsters to make a career in sport.

NEUFC midfielder Lalrempuia Fanai adds, “I feel excited because as a player it is a once in a life-time opportunity for me to participate in such an event. I have several friends in Guwahati who tell me that they are eagerly looking forward to this event. I believe that the city and the North-East have finally got what they deserved.

“As our owner, John Abraham said, all the young kids watching the magnitude of this event shall be inspired and spurred on to participate in the future. It will also draw the eyes of the country towards North East and showcase the potential of the region.”

Our Take

We at The SportRush believe that an event of the magnitude as big as the Indian Super League opening ceremony, being held in the neglected North East would have a tremendous impact on the ecosystem in the region. It will not only inspire youngsters to pursue the game but will also help in developing infrastructure in the region which is extremely important to produce world class players.

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