STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 23rd Nov:
With the women football team from Myanmar reaching the state by road on Thursday for an exhibition football match to be played with Manipur women team, Myanmar’s ministry of health and sports principle director Yu Myo Myint Aung has expressed hope that the long search for friendly ties between Myanmar and Manipur will soon become a reality.
The Myanmar women footballers, all below 20 years of age from Mandalay, arrived at Imphal by road. The exhibition match between the Myanmar and Manipur is to be organised as part of promotion of Act East Policy of the Indian government under the theme “Connecting through Sports”.
The 25-member Myanmar women football team comprising players and officials checked in at Hotel Classic Grande on Thursday and a press conference was conducted at the hotel.
Talking to the media, Yu Myo Myint Aung said that the Myanmarese team has come to Imphal considering the need to strengthen relationship between Myanmar and India with special emphasis on Manipur under the Act East Policy. Hopefully, the long search for friendly ties between the two countries will soon become a reality. Sports will prove to be the best means to promote friendly relation between the two countries.
Yu Myo further informed that the Myanmar ministry of health and sports has been grooming youths of the country in different categories of sports. And in the future, there is huge scope for both the countries to conduct friendly matches on different disciplines.
There are five international players in the Myanmar women team which is going to play the football match on November 25 and 26 at Khuman Lampak Main Stadium. They have participated at the South East Asian Games held at Malaysia in August, Yu Myo disclosed, while adding that the chief minister of Mandalay had wholeheartedly cooperated for the visit to Manipur.
"Let’s hope that the football exhibition match to be held in Myanmar on January 27 and 28, 2018 will also be a grand success," Yu Myo added.
Yu Myo also expressed hope that the Act East Policy of the Indian government will be of utmost benefit to both the countries in the future considering the similarity between the culture and traditions of India and Myanmar.
State Level Implementation Committee on Act East Policy convenor RK Shivachandra, who was also present during the media briefing, said that the exhibition match to be held under the theme “Connecting through Sports” is being organised to build a good relation between Myanmar and India particularly with Manipur and to strengthen the bond of love between the people of Manipur and Myanmar. Although there were various difficulties and hurdles on the way, the exhibition match is almost on the way to a grand success with the support and cooperation of Mandalay chief minister, Manipur government and All Manipur Football Association. The responsibility of dropping the Myanmar women football team up to Tamu has been ensured by Mandalay government while that from Tamu to Imphal would be the responsibility of Manipur government, he said.
Shivachandra informed no entry fees will be charged from the public to enjoy the exhibition match between the two teams on November 25 and 26 at 1.30 pm at Khuman Lampak main stadium and appealed to the public to be present at the exhibition match without fail.
A team of Myanmar journalists will be arriving at Imphal to have an interaction programme with the journalists of Manipur on November 27 and 28. The Manipur football team along with the state journalists will also visit Myanmar for an exhibition football match and press interaction programme in January 2018, he informed.
The press briefing was also attended by All Manipur Football Association president S Sanatomba Singh, Youth Affairs and Sports officials and officials of the Myanmar football team.