Shillong, May 5: Shillong Lajong’s U-21 team have been evacuated safely from Imphal, where they had been taking part in the national group stage of the Reliance Foundation Development League.
The Meghalaya government arranged special flights to bring back stranded people from Manipur, which has erupted in deadly violence over the last few days.
Lajong had topped the Meghalaya-Assam preliminary stage and thus qualified for the national group stage, where they were placed in the Imphal group with NorthEast United, ATK Mohun Bagan, Classic Football Academy and Sports Authority of India-RC.
SLFC are the bottom team in the Imphal group, losing two and drawing one of their three matches so far as many of their top players are representing the club in the ongoing Second Division League of the All India Football Federation.
Earlier today, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said of the evacuation efforts, “We are bringing back our stranded citizens who wish to return through regular flights and chartered flights with special permission. The Lajong football team has already been escorted to the airport and we are making every effort to ensure the safe and timely return of all our citizens. I would like to urge the students from Meghalaya who are studying in Manipur and their parents to please don’t panic and be calm. We are working closely with the Union and state governments, security agencies to ensure that all necessary arrangements are made for the safe return of our students and citizens.”