34 teams are participating in the tournament
Srinagar: Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Armed J&K, A K Choudhary, along with other senior officers of the Police, addressed a press conference here on Wednesday at the synthetic turf of the Tourist Reception Centre Ground in connection with the 16th Jammu and Kashmir Police Martyrs’ Memorial Football Tournament 2018.
The tournament is organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Police under the aegis of the Jammu and Kashmir Football Association (JKFA). The tournament this year would be held on a knock-out basis with 34 teams participating from 20 to 30 July.
According to the ADGP, the tournament is organised every year by the J&K Police in the memory of those “brave officials” who laid down their lives for the “sovereignty and integrity of the nation”.
“This tournament was initiated in the year 1998 in the memory of Inspector Mushtaq Ahmad Baba, the then SHO Kothibagh, Srinagar, who made supreme sacrifice on 31st October 1997 while protecting civilians from militancy action at Regal Chowk, Srinagar,” the ADGP said.
So far, the J&K Police in collaboration with the JKFA has till date organised 15 editions of this tournament. In the tournament, the ADGP said, prize money has been kept for various awards in the matches to make the tournament more “colourful and attractive”.
“Winners of the tournament will get a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh and a trophy, and Rs 75,000 and a trophy will be given to the runner-up team. Similarly, a cash prize of Rs 50,000 and a trophy is set for the team at third place. A cash prize of Rs 5,000 and a trophy shall be awarded to the player with the best performance in each match,” Choudhry said.
Various committees/sub committees to handle various organisational aspects of the tournament, like accommodation, transport, medical and jury, have been constituted for the smooth conduct of the event. Moreover, an exhibition match shall be played between veteran players of J&K Police and JKFA at the opening ceremony of the tournament.
“The main aim is to basically promote police-public cooperation and cultivate the sports culture among the youth of the state. It will also provide a platform to players to showcase their talent and to improve it further in future through coaching,” Choudhry claimed.
Since the inception of the tournament in 1998, J&K Bank have won the title five times, J&K Police four times, Border Security Forces (BSF) two times and Central Reserve Police Force, Sashastra Seema Bal, Jammu and Kashmir Forests and Iqbal Sports Srinagar once each.
The first title of 1998 was won by the BSF and J&K Police had emerged as runners-up. In the previous tournament in 2017, Lone Star KFC won the trophy while J&K Bank emerged as runners-up.