KANGPOKPI, Jan 10: Former International footballer from Manipur who had turned a prominent social worker among the Kuki community impressively kicked off the 15th Kanggui Inter Ward Wise Tournament, 2019 organized by Kangpokpi Youth Union at M Thomas Ground, Kangpokpi today.
Manglenthang Zou, former International footballer graced the inaugural ceremony of the tournament as Chief Guest while Jampu Kipgen, an active member of GUDUP, a non-political, non-profit WhatsApp group in Kangpokpi and Lunseh Kipgen, Chairman, Kangpokpi Town Committee attended the opening function as Guest of Honour and Functional President respectively.
Major Irfan, Post Commander, 38 AR Kangpokpi also attended the function as special invitee.
The former International footballer lit the tournament cauldron amidst cheers and applauds after the 15th Kanggui Inter Ward Wise Tournament Torch Relay, led by the captain of Defending Champion Ward No 8, was conducted while the chief guest also hoisted the tournament flag in the presence of other dignitaries.
Rev Thangboi David, Member KTC (Youth Affairs) dedicated the tournament before the hoisting of the flag.
A condolence ceremony led by KYU president, Tolminthang Misao paid respect to the departed leaders of KYU, former players of the tournament and leaders of the town who had once contributed in the annual tournament and for the town in a significant way.
Chairman of the organizing committee, Lamminthang alias Lala Misao while extending gratitude to all the participating teams, dignitaries, and leaders of various CSOs who took part in the inaugural ceremony, also presented mementoes and gifts to the dignitaries as a token of appreciation.
“Nowadays, sports has become an important tool in breeding peace and harmony among the communities and the society”, said Manglenthang Zou while addressing the gathering on the importance of games and sports before adding that games and sports is the only platform where everyone can participate without any segregation irrespective of caste, creed and religion.
As a former international footballer, Manglenthang Zou exhorted the young players to focus on team work, game spirit and discipline rather than giving more important to winning the game. He also urged the people of Kangpokpi to be the frontrunner of peace among the community for the overall welfare of the masses. After inspection of players and declaration of the tournament by the chief guest, the inaugural match between the defending champion Ward No 8 and Ward No 2 was successfully kicked off amidst loud cheers from supporters of the teams.
The inaugural match ended with 1-1 draw. The opening and first goal of the tournament came after Daniel of Ward No 2 sloted home in the 46th minute of the match and was equalized by Shongpu of Ward No 8 in the 52nd minute. Ngangam of Ward No 2 was yellow carded for his dangerous tackling in the 4th minute.
In the second match, Ward No 4 blanked Ward No 9 2-0.