Not long back I remember seeing a banner that says something like '20/22 players, 2 in the morgue'. And when some sections of the people insisted on joining the tamchon tourney, and when muvanlai and the sspp fc were slated to meet in the finals my vision became clearer and clearer. That only 20 players would be fielded at the beginning of the match and the banner displayed for the media to take notice of.
the sspp fc belongs to the paite speaking tribe while the muvanlai fc consists mainly of the thadou speaking people.
In this regard mention may be made of the fact that among the nine young men who lost their lives in the turmoil in the wake of the passage of the 3 anti-tribal bills on August 31, 2015 in the Manipur Assembly, Paulianmang (23) a Paite speaking boy, is a fervent football player. Similarly Khaijamang (11) an eleven year old boy speaking thadou too is no doubt, a lover of football.
I imagined that these are the boys who the youngsters who put up the banner had in mind while drafting it. My imaginative mine went to the extent of wondering whether the semi-final matches were fixed. Under normal circumstances an 11 year old boy is not expected to be in the first lineup of a football match, let alone sit in the bench. When Messi played with the senior side of fc barcelona against espanyol on october 16, 2004, he was about 17 years old. But imagination and a little bit of fact may work to show the world that the Manipur tribals have a deep grievance against the state Government.
Tears began to well up the inside of my ENT. What if both teams send 10 players each into the pitch at the start of the match and the crowd holding out a banner saying, "22 players, 2 in the morgue" !! The priority should be to telecast the banner to the world and not the match necessarily. The winner be it sspp or muvanlai, hardly matters. I didn't make any suggestions. Coz I trusted the boys more than I trust myself.
If materialized/implemented the match might even set the trend for a new kind of game in the world of football, say like 'the 3 bills game'.