Aizawl FC have done it!
In drawing with Shillong Lajong at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in the I-League season's concluding fixture, they have broken a glass ceiling of sorts and brought home the Northeast's first ever domestic championship title.
Naturally, everyone associated with the team is over the moon. The prospect of having another title in their home bastion, besides their hard-earned 2014 Santosh Trophy, is delighting.
"The core of the team that won the Santosh trophy back in 2014 is the same one that has formed the Championship (I-League) winning Aizawl team. The winnning mentality had already been established and we are very proud of the boys," explained the Mizoram Football Association (MFA) Honorary Secretary, Lalnghinglova 'Tetea' Hmar, exclusively to Goal.
He further remarked on what the mood was in the Mizoram capital, in a fervently excited tone, "I am in Shillong tonight, not in Aizawl. But I hear that people have come out into the streets and were dancing. A lot of drum beats are audible and people are genuinely excited!"
Quizzed on what the plans were for the team when they do arrive into Aizawl, he elucidated at length, "Firstly, we will have a parade. Not at the airport, where the team will have a grand reception, when the team arrive at 3 PM IST. But the reception will be held at the Lammual Stadium in Aizawl. This is where the Mizoram Football League (MFL) matches are held and this is also where Aizawl FC honed their skills, not to mention the Mizoram Santosh Trophy winning team.
We will parade both, the Santosh Trophy as well as the I-League trophy to all the fans of the team. The team will have their reception at the ground between 5 and 5.30 PM IST. The Honorable Chief Minister of Mizoram, Pu Lalthanhawla, will be at the event to greet the victorious team. The state will have a half-day holiday tomorrow," he stated.
Hmar, concluded by stating that the team have made the people of his state, one of the eastern seven sisters of India, proud.
"We are very happy. This event will be broadcasted to thousands of people over the cable and it will remembered forever," he signed off.