At SAFF event Manipuri footballer ignites dispute with ‘Meitei flag’

At SAFF event Manipuri footballer ignites dispute with 'Meitei flag'

Imphal: Jaeakson Singh, a 22-year-old footballer from Manipur, found himself at the center of a heated debate when he wrapped himself in a Meitei flag during the medal presentation ceremony of the SAFF Championship 2023.
The incident has fueled a debate about politics. Identity, and the role of athletes in expressing their views.
The Manipuri footballer, who plays as a defensive midfielder for the Indian national football team, grabbed headlines for his unique gesture during the medal ceremony after India’s victory over Kuwait in the SAFF Championship final on July 4.
By wrapping himself in a multi-colored Meitei flag, Jeakson Singh sought to draw attention to the ongoing unrest and racial violence in his home state.
The Meitei flag, also known as the Kangleipak ​​flag or the Salai Taret flag, represents the seven dynasties of the Meitei race that have deep historical roots in Manipur. It has symbolic significance for the community.
The controversy surrounding Jackson Singh’s action has arisen from the fact that Manipur has been witnessing violent clashes between the Meiteis and Kuki communities for the past few months.
The footballer’s decision to display the flag at an international event has sparked debate about professionalism, nationalism and freedom of expression.
While some social media users criticized Jackson Singh, calling his actions “unprofessional” and accusing him of promoting separatist sentiments, others highlighted the issues besetting his state. Appreciated his courage to put.
In response to the backlash, Jeakson Singh clarified that his aim was to draw attention to the plight of Manipur and advocate for the restoration of peace.
His gesture was driven by a desire to raise awareness of the ongoing violence and call for a solution.
The incident has sparked a larger conversation about the role of athletes in expressing their political or social views.
While some argue that sports and politics should remain separate, others argue that athletes have the right to use their platforms to shine a light on important issues affecting their communities.


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