Intense nail biting football action at the pre qualifiers and the league matches, a grand celebration of sports and entertainment with Bollywood Superstar Akshay Kumar and the support from the parents, friends and neighbour hoods who turned up in hundreds to cheer up their team, the season four of SARE Homes HT GIFA, the biggest neighbour hood football tournament in Delhi-NCR which started as a grassroots movement four years ago came to a close on October 8 at the Commonwealth Games Village Sports Complex, Akshardham.
With over 2500 registrations, more than 1.96 votes posted for the wild card entry and over 1727 goals scored, this season broke all previous records and was a bigger, better and grander affair.
The competition was tough as the best teams across Delhi-NCR competed against each other for the cup of dreams. The league matches were conducted over two weekends at CWG Sports Complex, Akshardham in Delhi and Ansal University, Gurgaon where team from both the junior and senior category battled it out.
The mascot, GIFU was a hit among the teams where players were seen hugging and clicking selfies and videos with him. Emcee Kanish Tyagi also kept the crowd entertained and conducted fun games and contests between matches including juggling the ball and performing stunts.
The Final matches conducted at CWG Sports Complex kicked off with the matches between the women teams of both the Junior and Senior Category. The junior teams Keepyuppy and Dream Killers Jr. fought it out on the field and with a score of (2-1) in favour of Dream Killers Jr.
In the Senior Girls Category the match between South City Girls FC and Soccer Diva’s was a neck to neck competition where the match concluded after an intense penalty shootout and the team Soccer diva’s emerged as victors with a score of 3-2. This was followed by the final matches between the junior and senior boy’s teams where in the senior category the team Young Gunners crushed their opponent, FC Marvy with a score of 2-0 and won the tournament. Team Vatika-V.F.A competed against Madrista Boy’s in the Junior Category and won with a score of 1-0.
Noida and Ghaziabad emerged as the victorious zone is this inter-locality football tournament with 3 out of the 4 winning teams (Young Gunners, Soccer Diva’s and Dream Killers Jr.) being from Noida/Ghaziabad who competed and won against several others teams from Delhi and Gurgaon during the course of the tournament.
The winning teams were awarded a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 each along with the coveted GIFA Trophy, gold medals, gift hampers from Cosco and scholarship to train with India on Track and the runners up teams were awarded with a cash Prize of 25,000 each along with silver medals and LaLiga merchandise from Madrid.
HT GIFA Season 4 was a hugely successful event, giving a platform for thousands of children across Delhi NCR to live their football dreams. With the FIFA U-17 World Cup currently underway in India, we’re sure the popularity of the sport is on a steady rise and we’ll witness even more participation in next season of HT GIFA.
“The company has been happy to team up with Hindustan Times for the third year in a row, as the title sponsor to support their initiative HT GIFA (Great Indian Football Action) – a unique platform for children to showcase their talent and learn through play, with a view to understand the importance of inculcating sporting activities in their daily routine. This association was a result of our mission to highlight the importance of sports for children’s all-round development and to provide them an experience of learning through playing.” said Vineet Relia, Managing Director, SARE Homes.
Akanksha Chablani from South City Girls FC, runner’s up in the Senior girls category said, “I participated in HT GIFA Season 3 as well in a mixed team and I’m really happy that they introduced an All-girls league this year. Though we lost in the finals, we put up a good fight and I really enjoyed playing with my team.”
Volkswagen Golden Boot Award Winners
• Shravan Chowdhry from Palms FC (Boys Senior category)
Position – Mid-fielder
• Rishab Dobrial from team Young Gunners (Boys Senior category)
Position – Forward
• Goals scored during the tournament – 9 each
Source:- Hindustan Times