THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who is on a mission to achieve development goals for the state through ambitious projects, on Thursday scored a real goal on the football field.
Chandy was inaugurating the 10th SBT G V Raja all-India football tournament, one of the few remaining football competitions in the state, by kicking off a ball at the University Stadium here.
After meeting the players of AG’s Office, Thiruvananthapuram and Army Red at the ground, the Chief Minister said that the government would increase the financial aid to the tournament from the next edition.
“G V Raja was a pioneer in sports not only in the city but across Kerala. So, we want the tournament, held in his memory, to be organised in a much grander manner in the coming years,” Chandy said.
The Chief Minister instructed Kerala State Sports Council president Padmini Thomas to review the proposals from the tournament organisers on future occasions and decide on an ample financial aid.
This year, 12 teams - six each from Kerala and outside the state - will compete in the tournament.
However, due to financial limitations, no big names of Indian football will be competing in the tournament.
In his presidential address, V Sivankutty MLA, chairman of the organising committee and president of the Thiruvananthapuram District Football Association (TDFA) thanked the State Government and the City Corporation for their assistance in the conduct of the tournament.
Mayor K Chandrika, CPI state secretary Pannyan Raveendran, Kerala University Physical Education department director Raziya Begum and former All-India Football Federation director of coaching Gabriel Joseph, among others, were present on the occasion.