ITANAGAR: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) Treasurer, Kipa Ajay said that Arunachal Pradesh, after 83 years, will be playing in the final round of the National Championship of Santosh Trophy 2023-24.
The opening match will be played between Arunachal Pradesh and Goa.
Addressing the media at the press club, Kipa Ajay, who is also the Secretary of Arunachal Pradesh Football Association (APFA) said that it is a moment of pride that the state is not only hosting the final rounds of the championship in the state but will also play.
He said that it is also a moment to cherish for the entire people of the state that after 83 years, finally, the decorated Santosh trophy has landed in the land of rising sun, Arunachal Pradesh. The APFA today received the decorated ‘Santosh trophy’, which was brought to the state at Hollongi airport here.
The Santosh Trophy is one of the oldest trophies which started in 1941. However, Arunachal Pradesh never got a chance to host the prestigious national football championship. Though the trophy remained in the country, it took 83 years to reach in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.
“Therefore, I thank CM Pema Khandu, the president of AIFF Kalyan Choubey and the executive members of AIFF for the opportunity to let host the 77th edition of Santosh trophy 2023-24 final rounds in the state capital, Itanagar,” he said, adding that the match will be played at Golden Jubilee Stadium, Yupai from February 21 to March 9.
He said that the inaugural match of the final round will be played between Arunachal Pradesh and Goa, that too in the flood light.
“Our effort is also to win the trophy. And therefore, the practice is on continuity,” he added.
Speaking on the accommodation of the players, Ajay said that proper accommodation has been arranged in Itanagar, Naharlagun and Nirjuli. For the practise ground, Sangey Lhaden Sports Academy, Itanagar, Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Naharlagun, and NERIST stadium have been arranged.
Besides, as a host, the APFA along with the state government has worked on the security, better facilities and other aspects for the visiting states.
“We have also arranged online ticket booking for the people. Hence, one can pre-book the ticket to watch the final round of the Santosh Trophy championship,” he said.