India’s stint in the U17 FIFA Football World Cup 2017 has ended, but the memories associated with the players will never be over. Although the world cup for India has ended, the love of the players has increased. People have started knowing the players more than ever. Why not? They have worked hard a lot and they are the history makers of Indian football.
In the U17 FIFA Football World Cup 2017, eight footballers from Manipur represented India and played well. Among those players, many young footballers had sad and emotional stories which made the football fans emotional too. Many of the players were hit by extreme poverty so much that these players found extremely difficult to progress in football.
People love these boys not only for being hit by poverty but they are also talented young boys. One of the young footballers whose story moved the fans was that of Khumanthem Ninthoinganba Meetei’s story. Ningthoinganba’s father was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and breathed his last while he was in Delhi preparing for exposure tour.
Ningthoinganba was a taekwondo player and he started playing football from his local club at his locality and local elder brothers encouraged him to play further. He said that he and his parents had a dream that he should in U17 FIFA Football World Cup 2017. He also said that after the World Cup, he would like to be a big professional player and play in Europe.
In an ISTV programme, Ningthoinganba’s mother cried uncontrollably while narrating the story of the footballer. His mother cried ‘what diet should be given to him after his play’ and ‘i will not have money to book his travel ticket’ while narrating the story. The ngari (fermented fish) seller told that the present house they are living was a shed for cows.
Ever since the story of the footballer spread, love of the footballer has grown more. Fans were waiting for his arrival to meet and take photos along with him. People have gone to meet him and wished for better future. Football fans have uploaded videos on social media congratulating and wishing him.
In one of the videos uploaded by fans on Facebook, a middle aged lady hugged him and cried. What was more beautiful was the moment when the lady told young Ningthoinganba something and that is what people want. The lady told, “play, play; you have to play, you have to play”. Yes, Ningthoinganba you have to play for your parents, state and the country.