The new-look 64th Bharat Ratna Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Trophy football tournament got off to a glittering start at the Nehru Stadium, Guwahati on September 18 with a drawn match between former champions Oil India Football Club, Duliajan and Shillong Lajong Football Club.
Both the teams netted one goal each.
The organizers for the first time have opened the tickets online for the spectators. Although, the opener couldn’t fill the stadium as expected, the onset of the competitive football season looked promising as fans supported the two teams.
Besides, to attract the crowd towards the almost faded football tournament which is one of the oldest and prestigious in the region, the organizers have arranged cultural events with the tournament.
On the inaugural day of the 64th Lokopriyo Gopinath Bordoloi football tournament, Oil India Limited will face Shillong based Lajong on Sunday.
“We are trying our best to revamp the lost glory of the Bordoloi Trophy at any cost. As these days most of the developments take place through online, keeping in mind of the young people, we have decided to sell the tickets online for the first time in Bordoloi trophy’s history,” Sanjive Narain, MD of Guwahati Football Club Sports Private Limited, organizer of the football tournament said.
The tournament is being supported by Guwahati Sports Association (GSA) and sports and youth welfare department.
The organizers opened 8,000 tickets for online sale and another 2,000 will be sold offline. The ticket prices have been fixed from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000 for the 13 day event. Besides, there will be tickets for the spectators on daily basis.
The organizers added cultural nights for each match day to attract more spectators. The inaugural ceremony will have a performance by popular Bollywood singer Arijit Singh followed by a host of artistes from Mumbai and the Northeast.
“Every day we will have cultural programme before the start of the match at 7. Then again during the half time, the artistes will perform for spectators. Finally, once the match is over the people can have the taste of various food items at the food stalls installed specially for the tournament,” said Narain.
The organizers have also arranged for special buses to ferry spectators from Ulubari and Guwahati Club to the match venue.
The eight participating teams include Kolkata’s East Bengal, Shillong’s Lajong and 3 Star from Nepal and Bongobir Ogrogami Club of Bangladesh among others.
“Due to lack of sufficient parking areas, we urge the spectators not to bring their vehicles in to the B Barooah Road. We have talked with the ASTC to provide us buses to ferry passengers from two points after every five minutes,” added Narain.
The finals of the Bordoloi Trophy will be played on September 30 while the next day, country’s premiere football tournament, Indian Super League (ISL) will begin at the Sarusajai Stadium with a match between North East United FC and Kerela Blasters.