Published on Thursday, December 22, 2016
Shifa Al Jazeera Soccer Kerala Fest - 2016
-by Gasper Crasto; Photographs: Shehin Haneef


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INDIAN STRIKERS EMERGE CHAMPIONS

Indian Strikers emerged Champions of Shifa Al Jazeera Soccer Fest 2016 7 a-side Open Football Tournament held at Bayan Grounds on Friday 16th December 2016.
In a dazzling show of aggressive and passing football, Indian Strikers beat FC Sparx in the final 4-3 in the tie-breaker.

Indian Strikers goalkeeper Shajahan made one crucial save that swayed the tide of victory.

Indian Strikers comprised of Shajahan (goalkeeper), Anthony Xavier, Sabu Cyrus, Rajesh N, Haris K, Biju Titus, Gijo O, Remsi K, Akhil A, Josepilla, Abdul Muneer and Vinod V. They stormed into the final beating host Soccer Kerala in the semis and UG Strikers in the quarters.

FC Sparx led by Hussain Ali beat Curtorcares United in the semis. Sparx comprised of Mubasher, Sulfi, Sanju, Mahi, Mujeeb, Ahmed Ali, Hussain Ali, Rajesh, Shawn, Vijeesh, Mohd Shareef and Nithin.

Mr. Rizvan, General Manager of Shifa Al Jazeera was chief guest for the finals. Mr. Domnic Pereira, president of Kuwait Indian Football Federation (KIFF), Mr. Lawry Pinto, Mr. Joy (of Bell & John Group), Ashique Rehman Cadiri, Mr. Sajith, Mr. Ghulam (President of KEFAK), Mr. Muneer (Asst Sports Secretary of KEFAK), etc, were special invitees on the occasion.

The one-day tournament was played under the auspices of Kuwait Indian Football Federation (KIFF) and officiated by KIFF referees.
KIFF teams that took part in the tournament were Don Bosco Oratory, DHL FC, Curtorcares United, FC Sparx, Goa Maroons, AVC Kuwait, Kerala Challengers, Skynet Miracles, Soccer Kerala, Santos United, Kuwait Goan Association and United Goans Centre.

SPONSORS AND PRIZES
The tournament was sponsored by Shifa Al Jazeera Medical Center, KCS Express, Bell & John Group, HR Gen Trad & Contr Co., Al Hilal Combined, Ecobuild Smart Engg Solutions, United Logistics Company, Jewel Transportation, Solar Shades Gen Trad & Contr Co., Q8 Shoppe, Malabar Kayal Restaurant, Al Bader Shipping, Boushari Group of Companies, Razan Al Kuwait Security Systems, Oceans Engg Est., Indo Gulf Int’l Trading., Al Buhaira Al Salmiya Gen Trad & Contr Co., Mr. Lawry Pinto, Casiano D’Souza, Mahmood Ishan, Ashique Cadiri, Thomas Mathew, Dinto Devassy, Jose Karamend, etc.

Following prizes were awarded:
Best Goal of the Tournament – Mahi Mohammed (Sparx FC)
Best Defender – Biju (Indian Strikers)
Top Scorer – Hussain Ali (Sparx) & Shayam (Soccer Kerala)
Man of the Match (Final) - Shajahan (Indian Strikers)
Player of the tournament – Hussain Ali (Sparx FC)

Apart from the winners and runners-up trophies, the finalists were awarded glittering individual trophies.
Mr. Rizvan presented the Winners Trophy while the runners-up trophy was given away at the hands of Mr. Reji of Bell & John Group.
Other prizes were awarded at the hands of Mr. Mahmood Ishan, Cassiano D’Souza, Jose Karamend, Lawry Pinto, Domnic Pereira, Mr. Joy, Ashique Rehman Cadiri, Mr. Sajith, Mr. Ghulam, Mr. Muneer, Rajeev, Shehin, Shafeek, Soby, Haneefa, Shan, Domnic, Arun (Q8 Shoppe), Jaleel, Ivy, etc.
In a special gesture Soccer Kerala honored Goan stalwart footballer Mr. Julio Cardoso for his outstanding achievements, passion and services towards Indian football in Kuwait.

Soccer Kerala’s coach Biju Johny, members Jenson Manachery, Sajan Pappachan were also felicitated with awards.
A special gift was presented to the day’s host Gasper Crasto as well.
Soccer Kerala’s raffle draw was held during the event in presence of a crowd of spectators; the winners present received their prizes on the spot.
A new track suit of Soccer Kerala was also launched on the occasion. In the vote of thanks, Soccer Kerala management thanked all sponsors, participating teams, spectators, KIFF officials, etc, for the successful tournament.

ABOUT SOCCER KERALA
Soccer Kerala is one of the front runners among clubs contributing to promote Indian football in Kuwait.
Founded in 2012, the club has emerged to be strongest foothold among football clubs in the region.
Apart from winning many trophies to their bastion, Soccer Kerala have been crowned champions of 2 renowned Indian football league titles conducted in Kuwait by Kerala Expats Football Association (KEFAK), and the Kuwait Indian Football Federation (KIFF).
The club is privileged and proud to have players who have played at National Games and Santosh Trophy in India and players who have represented clubs like Titanium, Central Excise, Cochin Port, SBT, Chirag United, Viva Kerala, etc.
Mr. Biju Johny (former Asst Coach of Viva Kerala) has been training Soccer Kerala.
In the colourful souvenir released on the occasion of the Soccer Fest, Mr. Biju stated, “Soccer Kerala are proud to be associated with KEFAK & KIFF to provide spectacular sporting banquet for football lovers. We shall strive to make the game even more popular and enjoyable among Indian expatriates in Kuwait.”
 


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