The 4th Dr T Ao Memorial Football Tournament will be held for the first time in the state of Meghalaya from March 18-27, with more than half the matches to be held under the newly-installed floodlights at the JN Stadium, Shillong.
The annual state-level tournament held in memory of legendary Indian football captain Talimeren Ao, is to promote a healthy spirit of competition amongst the youth and players of the eight North-East states, constituted by the government agencies – NEC and DoNER Ministry.
Nagaland hosted the first tournament in 2009, at DDSC Stadium in Dimapur, with Manipur and Sikkim hosting the second and third editions, respectively. Mizoram are the defending champions, with Manipur having won the first two tournaments.
Two matches will be played per day at 1pm and 5pm and the tickets are priced at Rs 20 (open gallery) and Rs 30 (covered gallery).
Dr Ao was a Mohun Bagan and India international football player. He was born in Nagaland in 1918 and captained the national team in their match against France at the 1948 Olympics in London, which was India’s first international match after independence.
He later studied medicine in Kolkata and then returned to Nagaland, where he was made the director of the Nagaland Health Service in 1978. Dr Ao passed away in 1998 at the age of 80.
The matches fixture is divided into two Groups:
Group A: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland.
Group B: Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura.
Championship cash prize:
The winning team: Rs. 7 Lacs
The runners-up team: Rs. 4 Lacs