Imphal: Youth Affairs and Sports (YAS), Government of Manipur has cleared its position regarding the plans to conduct Manipur State League (MSL) 2020, Women’s League and others tournaments by All Manipur Football Association (AMFA).
The clarification signed by T. Phulen, Director, Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of Manipur mentioned that though AMFA is not controlled directly or indirectly by the department or the government, it is felt that at the moment, as we are facing the pandemic Covid-19,
we are under the purview of National Disaster Management Act 2005 (NDMA) and State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA).
The Executive Committee of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) headed by the Chief Secretary of Manipur has been issuing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) from time to time, later consulting the concerned Departments. At this juncture it is advisable for AMFA to consult all the concerned Departments before announcing the schedule for all the tournaments. In fact, the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that they drafted need to be approved by the Home Department/ Health Department/Youth Affairs & Sports Department (YAS).
Regarding the report that AMFA is not under Youth Affairs and Sports Department (YAS), it is a matter of common sense that no one is above law and above the Government. Since, All Manipur Football Association is registered under the Co-Operative Societies Act, it is answerable to the Government of Manipur. Moreover, as they have been assisted financially and as the Youth Affairs Sports Department (YAS) has been providing all the logistics to the association the Department feels that it should cooperate with the Government.
The Department stated that it appreciates the efforts of AMFA in promoting and developing football in the region. But at the moment, we need to focus on the life, health and safety of
all the concerned.
The decision of the Youth Affairs & Sports (YAS) to direct AMFA to defer/cancel Manipur State League (MSL) and Women’s League was taken after examining the memorandum of the participating teams submitted to the Minster (YAS), Manipur and also after keeping in
mind the top priority of safeguarding the health of the players/officials and all concerned.
The department stated that it knew very well that AMFA is a registered body and not a government body. But this does not mean that they (AMFA) can do whatever they wish. At this crucial juncture AMFA needs to take permission from all the stakeholders for conducting the tournament, it pointed out.
According to the department, instead of mud throwing had they consulted the Department of Home/Health/YAS, their approach would have been appreciated. The department warned that as AMFA has been insisting on conducting the tournaments, even during the pandemic period, they will have to take all the responsibilities in the event, if the bio-bubble bursts and iff the proposed tournament turns out to be a super spreader of the COVID-19.