MPs to take Paung Laung fight to par­lia­ment

The Myanmar Times - - Sport - SWAN YE HTUT swanye­htut@mm­

MPs rep­re­sent­ing con­stituen­cies in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal have taken up the case of Paung Laung Sta­dium, and will raise the mat­ter in both the up­per and lower houses, Py­in­mana rep­re­sen­ta­tive U Than Soe Aung has said.

Foot­ball fans and lo­cal res­i­dents have com­plained for years over the Nay Pyi Taw ground’s con­tro­ver­sial sta­tus.

“The Nay Pyi Taw Coun­cil Speaker and I have writ­ten to the pres­i­dent. Since we have re­ceived no re­sponse, we will pur­sue the mat­ter in both houses of par­lia­ment, and have al­ready pre­pared our ques­tions,” he said yes­ter­day.

U Than Soe (NLD; Py­in­mana) will raise the ques­tion in Pyithu Hlut­taw, and U Kyaw Myint Oo (NLD; Man­dalay 10) will take it up in the Amyotha Hlut­taw, in the ex­pec­ta­tion that the gov­ern­ment will re­spond to one or other of the ques­tions.

The MPs’ goal is to have the play­ing grounds re­turned for the use of lo­cal peo­ple.

In 2011, then-sports min­is­ter U Tint San de­cided to rent the sta­dium to Nay Pyi Taw FC, which was owned by his son, Phyo Ko Ko Tint San, for 30 years at K3 mil­lion a month, with the first three years rent-free.

Nay Pyi Taw FC then ren­o­vated the sta­dium and changed the name to Nay Pyi Taw FC Sta­dium. At a cer­e­mony to re­open the sta­dium, Phyo Ko Ko Tint San promised that town­ship-level foot­ball matches would still be able to take place.

But mem­bers of the com­mit­tee’s su­per­vi­sory com­mit­tee say they were never con­sulted over the deal, and af­ter it was signed lo­cal foot­ball teams have not been al­lowed to play at the sta­dium.

The sta­dium was built in 1973 by a vol­un­tary al­liance of sol­diers, stu­dents and monks, and was pub­licly owned un­til the sport min­istry took it over. The towns­peo­ple have been try­ing to get it back ever since.

Nay Pyi Taw coun­cil agreed to re­store the sta­dium in April 2014, but no fol­low-up ac­tion was taken.

“It’s a pub­lic field cre­ated with money and ef­fort from mem­bers of the pub­lic, in­clud­ing sol­diers and stu­dents. The Min­istry of Sport made no con­tri­bu­tion. Out­stand­ing foot­ballers have played here, and the town el­ders have al­ways sup­ported it,” said U Than Soe Aung.

“Nay Pyi Taw FC still owns it. Un­der the con­tract, the as­so­ci­a­tion must be de­vel­oped, but no such de­vel­op­ment has taken place,” he added.

Nay Pyi Taw FC fin­ished this past sea­son in third place in Myan­mar Na­tional League-2, with 45 points for 21 games played.

– Trans­la­tion by Emoon

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