7th Manipur State League Football Tournament : Matchfixing At Its Best
Somorjit Yenkokpam *
Winner Trophy at display at the final day of 7th edition of Manipur State League football tournament 2012 on 23 October 2012
Pix - Jinendra Maibam
October 23, 2012 has turned out to be the darkest day in the history of Football in Manipur.
It is the day when the State that is considered the 'Power house' of Sports and the best location for scouting talented footballers in the country by most sports critics and football experts, has been turned into a place where rampant corruption and immorality runs deep at the highest level of management of football tournaments in the State, the 7th Manipur State League Football Tournament 2012 organised by the All Manipur Football Association [AMFA].
Being a lover of the beautiful game called Football, I followed the 7th Manipur State League Football Tournament 2012, held at the Main Stadium, Khuman Lampak Sports Complex from the very first match onwards.
I found that the Manipur Police Sports Club [MPSC] as the most promising team to win the Tournament. The Police team has a formidable combination of very good players and dedicated officials. It had conceded only 8 goals in the preceding 9 matches of the final play, where to my complete surprise and disbelieve the players gave away 9 'unforced ' goals to SSU in front of hundreds of football lovers of the state including a Cabinet Minister, the Speaker of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, an MLA who also sponsors the Winner's trophy containing a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakhs.
What I fail to understand is the reason why the MPSC players gave away the Runner's trophy containing a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh that is theirs to take if they win their final match.
Why they have to surrender so meekly when they have the full potential to win the game against SSU .... aren't they personal of the Manipur Police force who are known for their gallantry ?
Then there is this ..... the top scorer of the Tournament, Mr. Nilkumar, who was conveniently given to score the only goal of MPSC was again conveniently taken out of the second half of the match for reason best known to the officials of MPSC.
To my knowledge, three players including Mr. Nilkumar are locked at 7 goals each to get the Best Scorer Award when he scored the lone goal for MPSC in the most convenient manner to receive the award containing a cash prize of Rs. 20,000.
Then again, the Police players allowed the SSU players to toy with them allowing them to score 9 unforced goals, the exact number of goals needed to place SSU at the top above AIM which should be the rightful owner of the Winner's trophy whose angry officials and players refuse to accept the Runners up Trophy along with the cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh feeling betrayed by the outcome of the concluding match.
After careful observation of the concluding match i.e. 55th match of 7th MSL played between MPSC and SSU, the Director General of Police, Manipur confessed to the media that the match was fixed and action shall be taken appropriately.
As a result, the DGP, Manipur issued orders for disbanding all the 21 players including one Coach from MPSC. The reporting of the concluding match in all the daily newspapers in the state clearly indicates that there are some irregularities committed during that particular match.
The VIPs' speech during the concluding match also reiterated that it was shocking to watch such a one-sided match and appealed to both the teams to play in the interest of the Game and football lovers of the State and not otherwise.
Keeping all the above mentioned facts in mind, I honestly would like the officials of the All Manipur Football Association [AMFA] the apex body of football in the State to admit that the concluding match of the 7th Manipur State League Football Tournament is a clear example of a fixed match and grasp the opportunity to show a clean image of the Association to the public by giving exemplary punishment to the two teams who are involve in the match fixing and review the awarding of the Winner's Trophy in the interest of the upliftment of football in particular and sports in general.
See a photo gallery of the last match here
* Somorjit Yenkokpam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at somorjityenkokpam(at)yahoo(dot)in
This article was posted on October 26 2012 .
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