How Mizoram became a powerhouse of football in India

Football in Mizoram has become a key industry thanks to Mizo Premier League, ISL and the improvement of infrastructure and foreign involvement | All photos - PC Lala

A common joke in Mizoram is that football is the only functional industry in the state.

In the jest lies an incredible story of a tiny hill state becoming the country’s top churner of footballers.

What is more spectacular is that it took only a few years for Mizoram to transform into the country’s footballing powerhouse from a minnow.

It all began at the turn of this century when a diminutive but sturdy teenager from Mizoram joined the Tata Football Academy at Jamshedpur in Jharkhand to hone his skills.

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