8th Morning Premier League kickstarts in Kohima

A match between Morung United and Unity FC on June 25. (Morung Photo)

A match between Morung United and Unity FC on June 25. (Morung Photo)

Our Correspondent
Kohima | June 25

The 8th edition of Morning Premier League (MPL) 2024 under the aegis of Morning Football Association (MFA) with the theme “Health & Friendship” commenced today at Indira Gandhi Stadium, Kohima.

Ten teams have registered for this league and it will continue till October 2024.

TN Mannen and others with the players of opening match Unity FC and Morung United on June 25. (Morung Photo)

The teams includes; All Blacks, Eagle FC, Gethemgo, Kohima Police Spearheaders, Merhulietsa FC, Morning Football Club, Morung United,  Mustang FC, Unity FC and Vanguard Old Boys.

Gracing the opening ceremony as the special guest, Nagaland’s law & justice and land revenue advisor T.N.Mannen described this MPL as a good initiative  and stressed on the need to expand the event in a very healthy way to benefit one and all.
Stating that games and sports is not only for entertainment and for competition, Mannen said that it is more than that as it builds friendship, comradeship, new connection and new acquaintance.

“All of us cannot be participated in the competitive kind of games and sports but indulging in games and sports in our own way will definitely benefit us in many ways in term of physical and mental health,” Mannen said.
The Advisor also maintained that indulging in the physical activities is one of the prescribed solutions to longevity and well being of one’s life.

Also stressing on the need to have competitive spirit, he said “we should compete to do better than others but not for destroying others.”

Sentiyanger, Convenor MPL 2024 Managing Committee requested the participants to play in the spirit of health and friendship. “This year, we will be focussing more on brotherhood, camaraderie and friendship,” he said.

Unity FC wins inaugural match
Unity FC today overpowered Morung United 4-3 in the opening match of MPL. Mele connected the first goal for Unity FC in the 25th minute.

Lithung, Khulto and Asezo fetched a goal each to the team in the 35th, 39th and 65th minute respectively. Morung United inked the first goal through Theja in the early 6th minute. Alo and Chedevi contributed a goal each to the team in the 44th and 79th minute respectively.

There will be no match on June 26 due to ULB Election.

Earlier, the opening ceremony was led by Chiset Disong. Sentienla Kichu presented a special number while Jonathan Mesen, pastor, Rengma Baptist Church Kohima invoked God’s blessing.

Wekulhi administered oath to the participating teams.

About MPL
The story of Morning Premier League (MPL) began during the summer of 2011 when an avid group of FIFA gamers led by departed founder Loben Jamir decided that instead of playing the virtual game, it would be healthier if they play actual football.

Therefore, a group of 10 to 15 amateur footballers, just for their unconditional love of the beautiful game, decided to drive up to Kohima Science College Ground, Jotsoma to play a match.

Soon, what began as a leisure time pass became a daily routine.

For most of the time, a match was played between 10 players with 5 individuals in each team with a small goal post comprising of stones and bricks.

This group of players then decided to form a club in order to play friendly matches with other clubs.

In 2015, during one of their friendly matches with Amur Falcon Football Club (AFFC), the idea of starting a football league along with AFFC if the other player agrees with it came up.

The idea was forthcoming and that’s how the MPL came into being.

MPL is a unique one-of-a-kind league where matches are played only in the morning from 5:30 to 7:30 AM.

The sole purpose of MPL is to create health consciousness, friendship and competitive mentality and to promote sportsmanship in a safe, healthy and fun loving environment.

MPL is also a platform for mostly older players who are above 35 years of age and especially for football lovers not necessarily professional players.

In a monotonous job centric society like Kohima, MPL affords an opportunity not only to keep oneself physically fit, but also grants a gateway to relieve the mental stress by indulging in the beautiful game.

Today, it has become a platform for knowing people and developing new friendships.