Azad inaugurates 62nd Santosh Trophy in J

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Srinagar, May 25 (UNI)Exactly a hundred years after the introduction of the game of football in Kashmir by educationist Tyndale Biscoe, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today inaugurated the Santosh Trophy at Bakshi Stadium here today, being held in the stateafter 30 years.

The inaugural match was played between the Jammu and Kashmir and Puddacharry, which was won by the hosts 2-0.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister expressed pleasure on holding of the national football event in the state after a span of 30 years.

The Santosh Trophy was first time held in the state in 1978.

He said, ''during the past three decades the state witnessed many highs and lows and the holding of Santosh Trophy now was a matter of satisfaction for the people of the state in general and sports lovers in particular.'' The Chief Minister thanked the President, Indian Football Federation and Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Priyaranjan Das Munshi for their interest and support in holding the mega event in Jammu and Kashmir.

He said they assured full support for organising the prestigious national championship in the state.

He said that the State government had come forward to provide all assistance for successfully holding the championship.

He added the government provided Rs 3 crore for the championship, adding that the event had realised the dream of the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council and the lovers of the football in the state.

The Chief Minister hoped that the game of football would again establish itself in Jammu and Kashmir and recalled the times when thousands of people would converge on the playing fields to witness a football match between top teams of the valley.

He said the teams participating in the tournament would play with the spirit of the game and come again to play here.

He was sure that the participating players from other states would return with fond memories and carry the message of peace from here.

The Chief Minister witnessed the inaugural match up to the half time.

UNI FMH RAR BST1951

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