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India’s national soccer championship returns to Kashmir

Jammu April 06, 2007 (Kashmir Newz Desk) :

India’s national soccer championship is returning to the turmoil-hit Indian administrated Kashmir after three decades.

Kashmir will host the championship following a decline in the 17-year-old separatist violence, authorities said here Friday. The Santosh Trophy Football Tournament is scheduled to be held at the Polo Ground in Srinagar in July this year.

The junior sports minister of the state Babu Singh today conducted a review meeting to look into the preparations for the event.

The championship was last held in the state in 1978, long before the outbreak of Islamic insurgency in the state in late eighties.

While people in different states of India are crazy about cricket, football in Kashmir is more popular than cricket.

The Federation Cup was the last big tournament of football which was held in Kashmir in 1987, two years before violence broke out in the region.

The sports minister said the government would be encouraging sports activities in the state and a plan of INR 2 crore had been formulated to be spent on the preparations of the event.

Singh said that the play grounds in Kashmir like the Polo Ground, Bakshi Stadium, Amar Singh College ground and the SRTC ground would be developed soon.

The minister also assured that the play grounds would be used only for playing purposes and none of these grounds would be converted in parks or allowed to be used by the political parties for organizing public gatherings and rallies.

A plan for developing an Indoor Stadium in Srinagar was already in consideration, he said.

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Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

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