Football Tournament: The 23rd Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) Martyrs’ Memorial Trophy

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The 23rd edition of the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) Martyrs’ Memorial Trophy began on the evening of 18th September at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Kohima. The month-long tournament carries the theme, “Goal For Peace” and is set to be hosted at the prestigious IG Stadium in Kohima, with the grand finale scheduled for October 14.

The stadium echoed with cheers from children and football enthusiasts as the highly anticipated tournament commenced with the first match between defending champion New Market FC and 14 FC. New Market FC clinched a resounding victory with a score of 9-0.

Nagaland’s renowned football tournament welcomes 34 teams, including two from Manipur, all competing for the coveted championship trophy. This annual event is a tribute organized by the Angami Students’ Union (ASU) in honor of two of its brave comrades, Kekuojalie Sachü and Vikhozo Yhoshü.

As the tournament unfolds, the winning team will seize not only glory but also a generous cash prize of Rs 2.5 lakh, along with a magnificent trophy and certificates as a recognition of their excellence on the field. The runner-up team will be rewarded a cash prize of Rs 1.5 lakh.

Even the semi-finalists who don’t clinch the championship title will not return empty-handed. The two losing semi-finalists will each be granted Rs. 35,000, and the four losing quarter-finalists will receive Rs. 20,000 each.

The tournament brings more opportunities for recognition and rewards. The Player of the Tournament will ride home on a brand-new scooty, and individual excellence in categories like best goalkeeper, midfielder, defender and highest scorer will each receive Rs. 10,000 as an acknowledgment of their outstanding performances.


To witness this grand spectacle, fans can purchase tickets at reasonable rates. Day matches will cost Rs. 50, while night matches, starting from the quarter-finals, will be priced at Rs. 100.

The tournament commenced with a ceremonial inauguration, presided over by Advisor Youth Resources and Sports, S Keoshu Yimkhiung. In his address to the football enthusiasts, Yimkhiung praised the organizers for their commitment to remembering the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the “rightful cause of the Nagas.”

He took a moment to encourage the youth, emphasizing the significance of games and sports as a career option. Yimkhiung acknowledged that Nagas of all ages share a deep passion for football. However, he lamented that the full potential of these talents often goes untapped due to a lack of consistency and dedication.

Yimkhiung also drew a parallel to the past when Naga football pioneer Dr. T Ao led the Indian team, despite the absence of proper sports infrastructure in the state. He pointed out the significant improvements in sports infrastructure in Nagaland over the years.

For Yimkhiung, football isn’t just about winning matches; it’s about capturing the hearts of the people through discipline and a genuine love for the sport.

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