Santosh Trophy rejuvenated football in J

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Srinagar, Jun 15 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has said the Santosh Trophy had rejuvenated the game of football in the State.

Speaking on the concluding ceremony of the tournament the Chief Minister said the sport was not new to Jammu and Kashmir as it had already been very popular in the State. However, he said the game received a setback during the past two decades.

He thanked All India Football Federation president (AIFF) Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi for selecting Jammu and Kashmir as the venue for the current year's national championship.

Azad appreciated the enthusiasm shown by the people during the championship with thousands of young, aged and children turning up to witness various matches played at four venues in the State.

He said they were delighted to see players of 31 teams from various states of the country playing here.

The Chief Minister said last year it was proposed to hold the Santosh Trophy in the State but infrastructure was not in place.

He said the State government made every effort to comply with the requirements of the AIFF to hold the championship and things were put in place in a record time.

He said the championship had renewed the craze for football in the State. He said the participation of various teams in the championship offered an opportunity to the youth of the State to mix up with players from other states and learn more about each other.

Azad hoped that the Jammu and Kashmir team would do better in future championships and earn laurels for the State.

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