The football legend Diego Maradona will make a two-day maiden visit to the Soccer-crazy Northeast region next month. It’s officially confirmed now that he is scheduled to arrive in Kohima on December 11, according to an itinerary by the Nagaland State Department of Youth Resources and Sports.
Sources said the proposed visit of Argentine football great was initiated with the help of Nagaland Northeast for Child Rights, an NGO, to motivate young footballers in Nagaland, home to Northeast’s greatest soccer icon Tali Meren Ao, the first Indian Olympic football captain, who led the Indian team in the 1948 London Olympics playing barefooted. Maradona will play an exhibition match with an under-16 team on December 12.
Maradona will also visit the historical Naga village of Khonoma, some 15km from the state capital and Chief minister T.R. Zeliang will also host a dinner for Maradona, who will be a state guest during his stay.
The 56-year-old legend, who also earned a household name in the Northeast, was instrumental in Argentina’s victory over Germany in the final of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. This will be his second visit to India, a nation where the football sporting has started to garner a momentum popularity since the launched of Indian Super League (ISL) in 2013.