News of Mokokchung’s elimination from the football and cricket competitions in the Nagaland Olympic & Paralympic Games (NOPG) 2024 has undoubtedly disappointed all sports fans in the district. Both disciplines commenced ahead of schedule, with only the semis and finals scheduled after the official start of NOPG on 12 February. Cricket was played in the T20 format, where Mokokchung clinched a victory against Tseminyu but faced defeat against Dimapur in the quarterfinals.

While the cricket setback is disheartening, Mokokchung’s football performance is not just disappointing; it is embarrassing and ludicrous. Failing to secure even a single point in three matches reflects a collective failure that requires no excuses or blame games. Notably, Mokokchung failed to win a gold medal in the previous NOPG edition, leaving uncertainty about an improvement this time.

Turning attention to football, there appears to be a significant issue with Mokokchung’s approach to its promotion. While the Mokokchung District Football Association (MDFA) bears responsibility for the dismal performance, a closer examination reveals a toxic ecosystem where the MDFA itself is left in a pitiable situation.

The community must actively participate if Mokokchung aims to regain any “past glory” in football, assuming there was any glory in the past. Coordination with the MDFA is crucial for various organizations and associations organizing football events.

Football in India operates under the governance of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), with the Nagaland Football Association (NFA) affiliated to the AIFF, and the MDFA in turn affiliated to the NFA. Any football activity in Mokokchung not aligned with the MDFA is but wastage of resources, time, energy, and talent.

Simultaneously, the MDFA needs democratization and transparency in its functions. Despite being one of the oldest and strongest Football Associations in Nagaland, Mokokchung’s team performs like a sub-junior team when facing other districts, an insult to local football fans. Above all, players require discipline and dedication.

Surprisingly, only 28 players reportedly turned up for the selection trials conducted by the MDFA for NOPG 2024. This raises questions about player commitment and ambition. It shows that our players are either not interested in climbing up the ladder and performing on the larger platforms or are a proudy, pampered and egotistical lot with no self-respect and discipline. Either ways, such players are not going anywhere anytime soon.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *