Despite "No Home to Stay" the SAFF U-16 winning Blue Colts Captain looks forward to peace in Manipur

Manipur violence footballers

 -Kaybie Chongloi

KANGPOKPI, Sep.14, 2023

When Ngamgouhou Mate from the strife-torn Manipur's Tengnoupal District, who led the proud Indian football team clinched the South Asian Football Federation SAFF under 16 Champion at Thimphu as a captain, returned home his parent had to welcome him in a relief camp in Kangpokpi district as his home in Khongsai veng Imphal had been already burnt down in the initial stage of the ethnic violence.

However, the young Indian captain, despite "no home to stay" looked forward to peace in Manipur.

Three young talented footballers from the Kuki community, namely, Ngamgouhou Mate (15), son of Jamkholal Mate of Pallel (Tengnoupal District), Vumlenlal Hangshing (15), son of Kamkhomang Hangshing of Lhungtin village in Saikul Kangpokpi District, and Levis Jangminlun Haokip (15), son of Ngamminthang Haokip from Churachandpur District participated in the 23 strong Indian squad in the 8th edition of the SAFF U-16 championship at Thimphu in Bhutan.

After clinching the defending champion title for the fifth time, the Kuki Students Organization Sadar Hills under the aegis of the Kuki Students' Organization General Headquarters organized a reception ceremony for the Blue Colts Captain and another two players from the Kuki community at KSO Sadar Hills Administrative Office building today at 3:00 pm in the presence of the Kuki Inpi Manipur.

However, Levis Jangminlun Haokip could not manage to attend the reception ceremony.

KIM President, Ch. Ajang Khongsai, in his exhortation speech, conveyed KIM's appreciation to all three Kuki footballers who brought fame and laurels to the country despite the trying time faced by the community.

He also encouraged them to keep their distance from any kind of intoxicants, and other elements that could ruin their future career, rather emphasizing on good moral character, discipline, and healthy habits that can lead them to bring more laurels and fame for the country and the community.

KSO General Headquarters Information and Publicity Secretary, Mimin Haokip also expressed gratitude and appreciation to the trio for their achievement and encouraged them to work hard to shine brighter in their professional careers.

Vumlenlal Hangshing, the left-back player, said, "It is like a nightmare for me and my team and we are extremely proud of our coach and the staff who guided us throughout the championship and provided us with good training".

He said that we the players are from different communities including the two warring communities from Manipur but our ethnic diversity was our driving force to clinched the prestigious title.

"We (the Meitei and Kukis) have no issue with the violence. We stayed together, ate together, and sleep together. We are very much friendly and even joked together. Only football can make this possible", he added.

He also said that lifting together the Champion trophy with our friend from the Meitei community will also pave way towards peace in Manipur.

The Indian team Captain, Ngamgouhou Mate, and Vumlenlal Hangshing also thanked the former Indian footballer Reneddy Singh from the Meitei community for believing in them (He and Captain Ngamgouhou) and providing the opportunity to participate in the trial/selection.

The duo, both players of Imphal-based Classic Football Academy, also conveyed that it was the concern and faith of Reneddy Singh, that they had the opportunity to contribute to Indian football by bringing fame and laurels to the country.

The Blue Colts Captain, Ngamgouhou Mate thanked the Almighty God for helping the Indian team clinch the prestigious title in the form of giving all his teammates good health, wisdom to the coach and staff, good coordination among the players and coach and staff, etc.

Mate, who is not willing to talk much about the violence in Manipur said that it saddened us all that our state Manipur has been gripped by violence but I personally look forward to peace in the state.

KSO Sadar Hills General Secretary, Thangtinlen Haokip said that as we hosted a reception ceremony for our heroes Indian footballers who made a big achievement by bringing fame and laurels to the country, we also expressed our deep regret that the Blue Colts Captain had to meet his parents in a relief camp owing to the ongoing ethnic violence in the state.

He said that we were deeply in pain and felt extreme pity for the Indian Captain as he had no more home to shelter but stayed in a relief camp with his parents.

Hen then urged the authority concerned, the Centre, and the State Government to look into the grievances of the Indian Captain.

The Blue Colts Captain has five siblings (three elder sisters, one younger brother, and one sister).

The Mizos

The Mizos is a one-man team news blog, that brings you news and stories from Mizoram, Northeast India and the rest of the World.

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