India Midfielder Jeakson Singh Explains His 'Flag' Gesture At SAFF Championships Final
Indian footballer Jeakson Singh draped himself in a Kangleipak flag during the medal ceremony after the team won the SAFF Championship final against Kuwait.
The Indian football team made history in the SAFF Championship final, winning the title for the 9th time as it defeated Kuwait on penalties. As the entire Indian team received medals, Jeakson Singh sported what he called "my Manipur flag" over his jersey on Tuesday. The India midfielder's gesture caught everyone's attention. After celebrating the SAFF title with his teammates, Jeakson posted that he wanted to send a message of peace in reference to his home state Manipur.
The seven-colour flag Jeakson draped himself in represents the seven clan dynasties of the Meitei ethnicity of Ancient Manipur. As fans wondered what Jeakson's gesture meant, he explained he was calling for awareness and peace.
"It's my Manipur flag. I just wanted to...what's happening in Manipur...I just wanted to tell everyone in India and Manipur to stay in peace and not fight. I want peace. It's been 2 months now and still fighting is going on. I don't want that kind of thing to happen more and I just want to bring the government's and other people's attention to get peace you know. My family is safe but there are lot of families who have suffered and lost their home and all," Jeakson was quoted as saying by ESPN India.
"Yeah it's difficult now...even for me it's difficult to go back home now with the situation...even I don't know what's going to happen. I hope things get well soon," he added.
The midfielder also shared a post on Twitter, saying he didn't want to hurt anyone's sentiments with the flag gesture.
"By celebrating in the flag, I did not want to hurt the sentiments of anyone. I intended to bring notice to the issues that my home state, Manipur, is facing currently. This win tonight is dedicated to all the Indians," he said.
Dear Fans,— Jeakson Singh Thounaojam (@JeaksonT) July 4, 2023
By celebrating in the flag, I did not want to hurt the sentiments of anyone. I intended to bring notice to the issues that my home state, Manipur, is facing currently.
This win tonight is dedicated to all the Indians. pic.twitter.com/fuL8TE8dU4
Jeakson was a key player in the Indian team that went on to win the SAFF Championship 2023. The young star has become a key player in the Indian team under coach Igor Stimac and is also one of the pillars at his Indian Super League club, Kerala Blasters.