The Mokokchung District Football Association (MDFA) has made a historic decision to make its annual tournament ‘open’ to all clubs from across Nagaland for the first time since its inception in 1992. The much-awaited tournament, themed “Empower Through Football,” is scheduled to kick off on 19 September.


Unlike previous editions, MDFA Trophy 2023 will not be confined to clubs exclusively from Mokokchung district – any club from anywhere in Nagaland will be eligible to participate. Furthermore, there will be no restrictions on recruiting players from anywhere in the country or even abroad, allowing teams to bolster their rosters with talent from diverse backgrounds.


MDFA Officials and MDFA Trophy 2023 Organizing Committee members after addressing the press conference on Sunday, 30 July. (MTNews photo)


In a press conference held today at its Treasurer’s Residence, MDFA officials and the organizing committee also revealed the tournament’s prizes. The champions will be awarded a cash prize of Rs 2 Lakhs, while the runners-up will receive Rs 1 Lakh, along with individual prizes. Due to regulations set by the Nagaland Football Association (NFA) for local tournaments, the winning cash prize cannot be increased. However, in a departure from tradition, both the winners and the runners-up will be presented with individual medals.


In an effort to promote indigenous talent, a “Selection Board” will scout for exceptional players during the tournament to represent Mokokchung district in the upcoming Dr T Ao Trophy2023, scheduled to commence from 16 October in Tuensang.


The decision to open the tournament to clubs from other districts was motivated by the desire to provide local clubs with an opportunity to compete against teams from different areas and learn from each other. The annual Inter-Ward Tournament, which is restricted to Mokokchung locals, has been instrumental in nurturing young football talents, and hence the MDFA hopes that this year’s open tournament will encourage even more youngsters to pursue their passion for the sport.


MDFA Trophy
The MDFA Trophy (File photo)


Registration for the tournament will begin on 10 August and conclude on 31 August 2023. Forms will be available at the 3-Kit Studio in Mokokchung and other online platforms, with a registration fee of Rs 5000.


The tournament’s fixtures will be drawn on 15 September, and the matches are set to commence on 20 September. To ensure fair play, the NFA will provide a Match Commissioner to oversee the referees.


To encourage participation from clubs outside the district, the MDFA has announced that lodging will be provided for teams from other regions during the tournament.


On the opening day of the MDFA tournament, a grand “Extravaganza” featuring various artists from the state will entertain the crowd. The first day will be free entry for everyone, with no tickets being sold. The competitive matches will begin on 20 September, but to enhance the live experience, no live-telecast will be available.


As the biggest sporting event in Mokokchung, the MDFA tournament has been instrumental in nurturing and showcasing numerous footballing talents over the years. The organizers are hopeful that this year’s open tournament will be a significant achievement, empowering and encouraging the younger generation to excel in football.


Mokokchung Times

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