Shillong, July 21: The state cabinet on Friday approved a document on Mission Football, which focussed on scouting and nurturing of talents in football with special focus on young talent so as to make Meghalaya the “football powerhouse” of the country.
The Mission will be launched by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma at the J.N. Stadium, Polo at 5pm on Saturday.
Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting in main secretariat, Sangma said that though the country has a population of over one billion, yet the country is yet to have a competent team to play in the FIFA World Cup.
The Chief Minister said that the state government has earmarked a one-time investment of Rs 560 crore for implementing the mission, and would also seeking financial support from different sources including the North Eastern Council, Union ministry of sports and youth affairs, and funds under Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR).
Stating that the government is looking at sports especially football as a product that can promote Meghalaya as a destination and boost sports tourism, Sangma said that the mission would also focus on creating sports parks, football entertainment parks.
He said that the government would also attract private investors to set up football academies in different parts of the state and build infrastructure at the grassroots level like stadium and good football ground. Moreover, the Chief Minister said that the mission would also focus on improving other existing infrastructure including the J.N. Stadium and first football ground at Polo.
The Chief Minister also said the mission would promote women’s football, training of coaches and referees and support local clubs in setting up football academies, while stressing the need to make football clubs sustainable earn revenue through tournaments so that they can also pay fees to players.