India secured their ninth SAFF Cup championship with a thrilling victory over Kuwait in a penalty shootout at Bengaluru's Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Tuesday.
During the medal ceremony following India's SAFF Cup victory, Jeakson Singh stood out by wearing a salai-taret flag."
Jeakson clarified that he wore the flag as a symbol of unity and a call for peace in his state, attracting significant attention and admiration from onlookers.
“It's my Manipur flag. I just wanted to tell everyone in India and Manipur to stay in peace and not fight. I want peace," he told media persons.
However, despite his noble intention of unity and peace, some fans criticized his gesture. Nevertheless, many others expressed their support for Jeakson, acknowledging his significant achievement as the first Indian player to score a goal in the FIFA World Cup.
A Twitter user said “What is Jeakson Singh doing with a secessionist flag. Doesn't he know that this is not a state /regional level competition rather a prestigious International Tournament where he is representing his Nation India. Take action @IndianFootball”.
Another Twitter user wrote “that's flag of Manipur, nothing secessionist about it. could be he's empathising with what's going on there”.
Taking to Twitter, Jeakson Singh clarified “Dear Fans, 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”.