Meghalaya launches football grassroots development programme

SHILLONG: A state government-backed football grassroots development programme kicked off here Saturday with an exhibition match between the north-eastern players and their rest of India counterparts at the floodlit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, IANS reports.

A 'pet project' of Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma, the gala programme will focus on further nurturing young talent from the region which has in recent times produced a clutch of national team players.

"The chief minister wants to promote football in a big way across the state of Meghalaya. For this, the state government has organised a gala event tomorrow (Saturday) with professional Indian players," the newswire quoted organisers as having said on the eve of the programme.

Among the players who were to take part in the match are Michael Chopra, who has 258 appearances in English professional football playing for nine different clubs, India midfielder Jackichand Singh and veterans Mehtab Hossain and Sandip Nandy.+