Shillong, Dec 4: Polo Ground is abuzz with activity with the Meghalaya Baby League (MBL) 2018 entering an exciting, and hectic, end to the group stage.

The MBL, which is the joint initiative of Tata Trusts, the Meghalaya Football Association (MFA) and All India Football Federation (AIFF), took a break in November to give the participating children time to prepare for school exams.

The action restarted in a small way last Saturday, but now, in order to meet the ambitious target of wrapping the MBL up this month, matches have been shortened, with the agreement of the team representatives and parents, the hard work of the volunteers and, most importantly, the undiminished enthusiasm of the children, so that more of them can be conducted in a day.

Nearly 100 matches were held today at Third Ground and the Futsal Ground in Polo and it will be more of the same tomorrow and up to Saturday, with the matches carefully scheduled so that the children can also get plenty of rest.

Over the last couple of months the MBL has ventured into a couple of new and interesting areas. They had a special two days of matches during the Durga Puja holidays and also took the Baby League outside Shillong on one very special Saturday.

That involved Wahlakhiat Bulls and Mawlatbah SC Hawks on October 6 in Mawlat. It was a great day where practically the whole village turned out to watch the games and it also presented the opportunity for the MFA to give people from the village an idea of what is required to run a baby league, which opens up the opportunity for them to think about starting a baby league of their own in the future, something that the AIFF is keen to promote around the country.

(Photo contributed by the Meghalaya Football Association. ENE Falcons are in white, Kickstart FCC Rhinos in blue)

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