Manipur may have world class football academy: Sports Minister

Sports Minister Rathore said this while interacting with a group of students from Manipur aged between 11 and 16 years, who are currently on a National Integration Tour organised by Assam Rifles.

Manipur may have world class football academy: Sports Minister
File photo of Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (PTI)

New Delhi: Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Thursday said his ministry is actively considering setting up a world class football academy in Manipur in collaboration with the state government.

Rathore said this while interacting with a group of students from Manipur aged between 11 and 16 years, who are currently on a National Integration Tour organised by Assam Rifles.

The minister noted the remarkable presence of eight players from Manipur in the Indian squad for the FIFA U-17 World Cup and asked the students to prepare hard in the sport of their choice so that they can participate in future editions of Khelo India School Games.

"A group of 20 students along with their teachers from Chandel district of Manipur here called on Minister of State (I/C) of Youth Affairs & sports Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore. Col. Rathore asked the students about their hobbies, studies and their interest in sports," a release from the ministry said.

"He (Rathore) said his ministry is actively considering for setting up a world-class football academy in collaboration with the state government in Manipur," the release added.

Manipur has been the football factory of the country for some time with players from the state making up the bulk of the national age group sides. A few years back, several players from Manipur were in the senior national team, though the number has gone down recently.

All the clubs in the I-League and Indian Super League has many players from the state.