Preparations are going on in full swing for hosting the Group-C matches of the 131st Durand Cup, 2022, in Imphal.
The Asia’s oldest football tournament is being held in three different states – West Bengal, Assam and Manipur for the first time.
Chennaiyin FC, Hyderabad FC, NEROCA FC, TRAU FC and Army Red FT are in the Group-C of the Durand Cup. The Manipur chapter of the tournament will kick off with the much-awaited Manipur derby between NEROCA FC and TRAU FC at Khuman Lampak Main Stadium in Imphal at 6 pm on August 18.
A total of 10 league matches will be played in Imphal.
As the tournament is being organized by the Indian army with support from the state government, chief minister N Biren Singh had chaired a meeting of the local organizing committee which comprises army officers and state government officials to review the preparedness of the tournament at Chief Minister’s Secretariat on July 20.
As many as 16 different sub-committees viz. security, fire safety, traffic management, reception, accommodation, transport, infrastructure, technical and information technology, ground development, health, hospitality, water supply, waste management, cultural programme, publicity and information and power supply have been formed for the smooth and successful conduct of the tournament.
One nodal officer each from the state government departments concerned has been nominated to work in coordination with their counterparts of the Indian army.
Officials from the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and event management group Cherry Tree have started arriving in the state capital to oversee the preparations for the Durand Cup matches. Stadium renovation, painting, electrification, plumbing works, mending of approach roads, etc. are almost complete. Pitch maintenance is also going on with full progress.
Regarding security, CCTV cameras have been installed all over the stadium to keep vigil of any untoward incident. A foolproof security plan has been chalked out by the Manipur Police in this regard. On the other hand, necessary hotel rooms and transportations are kept ready for the visiting players and officials for a warm reception.
Chief minister N Biren Singh unveiled the Durand Cup trophies at a function in Imphal on July 27.