DIPR IMPHAL, 22nd Oct: Chief Minister N Biren Singh has said that his government is committed to increase the number of spectators at the main stadium of Khuman Lampak Sports Complex from the present in-take capacity of 25,000.
Though he did not specify about the exact government plan or project on increasing the seat capacity, the chief minister acknowledged the need for accommodating more spectators in the state’s only facility that could hold highest number of sports fans so far.
Biren’s views were expressed at a pre-season friendly match played between NEROCA FC, Imphal and NorthEast United FC held at the main stadium on Sunday. The visitors won the match 2-0.
In his address as chief guest of the match, the Chief Minister said that the ground of the main stadium is being developed into a football field of international standard with natural grass turf so that the state could host various international football matches in the future.
Seeking encouragement and support of the people, Biren said that the state government would be developing 2-3 astro-turf grounds in the state to facilitate football practices and actual matches throughout the year.
The government is also planning to install flood lighting system in the Main Stadium soon so that football matches could be played after dusk, he said.
The Chief Minister also said: “We are expecting that at least eight players from Manipur would be in India U-19 football World Cup squad like that in U-17 World Cup”.
On the other-hand, mentioning about culture of sports and love for football in the state, Youth Affairs and Sports minister Letpao Haokip said that it would not be wrong ‘if we call Manipur as “Sports City” of the country.
He further stated that the government would work at its level best to improve and develop the football infrastructure so as to promote and produce quality footballers in the state.
Parliamentary secretary (home) L Susindro Meitei, MLAs Dr Sapam Ranjan and O Lukhoi Singh, commissioner (YAS) H Deleep Singh, Secretary to CM - N Ashok Kumar and other officials witnessed the friendly match.