Manipur’s football clubs, NEROCA FC and TRAU FC, will not compete in this year’s renowned Durand Cup. The decision was made as a result of the region’s continued crisis and financial challenges. Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita, GOC-in-C, Eastern Command Stated:
“This time because of the situation in Manipur teams have not been formed. It requires time for people to prepare and play. So that is the reason that Manipur shall not be participating in the Durand Cup Trophy this year. Hopefully in the next year Manipur shall participate in a big way”
The Durand Cup was co-hosted by Manipur last year, giving NEROCA FC and TRAU FC a chance to display their skills on a national scale. Football fans in Manipur are dissatisfied, though, since a lack of funding and sponsors this year has left a hole in the state’s football landscape.
M. Manimohan emphasized in the interview with News18.com how heavily the clubs depend on sponsorship agreements, ticket sales, and contributions from life members to fund their operations. This includes paying players’ salaries, maintaining training facilities, and covering travel costs. Due to the financial difficulties, NEROCA FC is presently one month behind on player wages.
According to the general secretary of NEROCA FC, the club’s budget is unable to cover the estimated Rs. 60 lakh cost of playing in the Durand Cup. Manimohan also talked on the disparity in the costs associated with prior Durand Cup competitions. The 2022 edition, which Manipur co-hosted, cost about Rs. 60 lakh, whereas the 2016 edition only cost NEROCA FC about Rs. 20 lakh.
Manipur’s clubs denied the chance to play against some of the greatest teams in India in this year’s Durand Cup. Their absence also hinders the development of football in the area. The state of Manipur, called the “football powerhouse” of India, has a long history of producing excellent athletes. They have represented the nation on numerous levels.
Manipur’s football fans would certainly miss the NEROCA FC‘s competition and passion for the Durand Cup. However, there is optimism for the coming years as sponsors start to appear, offering prospective chances for Manipur’s football teams to reclaim their due position on the national scene and keep motivating new players in the area.
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