Durand Cup: Rajnath Singh asserts on maintaining rules in game and society


In his remarks on the occasion, he said: “Rules and regulations are very important in football. You all must be aware of the offside rule in football. Even if a player scores a goal by going offside, it is not considered a goal, meaning that as soon as you go against the rules, even if any of your efforts become successful, it is not meaningful.

“Be it a game, a society, or a nation, rules are very important, and it is the responsibility of all of us to maintain them,” he said.

“A true sportsperson and a true citizen is the one who does his duty according to all the rules of the game and society.”

Rajnath Singh noted that football is a game that unites people, and this is a game of peace. Recounting an instance of Brazilian soccer legend Pele, he said: “In the 1970s, a civil war broke out in Nigeria. Thousands of people had lost their lives in that war, and the atmosphere was extremely tense. No appeal from the police or leaders was able to calm the situation. But when Pele reached there to play a friendly match, it is said that for 48 hours, there was no incident in the whole country.”

Addressing the enthusiastic crowd at the Sai Stadium, he complimented the efforts of the Armed Forces and Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) for creating a positive environment in Kokrajhar, which resulted in the event being organised in the city for the first time. He commended the people of the northeast for their excitement and love for football, describing ‘the beautiful game’ as not just a sport but an emotion.

Stating that Assam has produced many football talents in recent times, Rajnath Singh exuded confidence that the Durand Cup will encourage the youth to join the sport with renewed vigour.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also spoke about the rich sports culture of the region and extended his best wishes to all participating teams. He thanked the Indian Army for organising the tournament in Kokrajhar and appreciated the efforts of BTC for its assistance.

The opening ceremony was witnessed by nearly 12,000 football fans from across the state and the region. The main attractions of the ceremony included a flypast by Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft and Mi-17 helicopters, martial displays, Gatka and Bhangra, and the display of Bodo cultural dance by the local troupe.

The inaugural ceremony was followed by the opening match of the tournament between Bodoland FC and Rajasthan United FC. Kokrajhar will witness eight group matches and one quarterfinal to be played on August 24. A total of 24 teams, including two foreign teams from Nepal and Bangladesh, all three teams of the Indian Armed Forces, and the local team of Bodoland FC, will clash at three venues in Kolkata, Guwahati, and Kokrajhar during the tournament.



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