Manipur became only the fourth state in the nation to have an artificial football turf, where states such as Shillong, Bangalore and Pune already have this facility. The football turf laid out at Manipur is said to be of top notch, which meets up to international standards. One has to give full credit to the AIFF and the FIFA for taking up this initiative. Currently, it is the Manipur state team that is practising on the turf, and preparing for the Santosh trophy.
Ranjit Ray, President, All Manipur
Football Association said, “They started using this artificial turf with the opening of the trial cum-caoching of Santosh trophy team for Manipur. It will be helpful for the Manipur players. It is a great boon for our players,” reported nnis. With such kind of positive steps that have been taken by the AIFF, the sport in the country and the state is going to grow. Manipur is known for producing some of the best football talent in the country.
The AIFF is also aware of the quality of players that comes through Manipur ranks, hence they must have taken this initiative. There are a number of players in the current and the past Indian team as well, where there were a number of Manipuri players. If proper facilities are given to players from Manipur, one can expect the quality as well as the quantity of footballers from Manipur to increase. In most of the Indian states, it is cricket, which rules the roost, but in Manipur, it is football, which dominates the sporting scenario.
Raju, a local fan, said, "On the state government side, we have been given assurance by the CM that the stadium and the other structures will come up.” India are not known for football, not even in Asia, but the government needs to take important steps to help grow the sport.
But one also has to understand the problems associated with the football turf, as most of the football matches that are played around the world take place on natural grass, very rarely on an artificial football turf. This could be a major problem for these players, but they need to adjust as per the playing conditions. Until then, they just need to be happy for the facilities provided to them and try their best to improve upon their game.