The five day tournament, which started on Wednesday, December 22, was organised by the Students Islamic Organisation for its own cadres with the intention of cultivating a sense of brotherhood and constructive competitiveness among them and to explore the possibilities of bringing reformation to sports as well.
The final match was truly a grand feast for the hundreds of spectators gathered across the ground. Both Kerala and West Bengal teams showed their extraordinary sportsmen spirit in the field till the end of the match. However, the Malayali boys prevailed over their Bengali counterparts in the inevitable sudden-death round, after both sides were locked 4-4 in the penalty shootout.
Interestingly, despite the aggressive play displayed by the both teams, the goal keepers of both sides did not give any opportunity to enter the strikes of opposition players into the goal posts and the score of both halves of the final match was nil.
The victory celebration by Kerala team converted into humbleness and gratefulness when Adhan resounded in the ground. Players and audience offered Magrib Namaz together in the field and expressed gratitude to the Creator for creating a benevolent atmosphere.
At the concluding ceremony, apart from the trophy and runners up prizes, several individual prizes were also distributed for outstanding performances.
The captain of Kerala zone, who scored highest goals in the tournament, bagged the player of tournament award, while Shakeel Ansari of West Bengal zone secured the best goal keeper award. Afthab Alam of Bihar zone was declared as the emerging player of the tournament.
A Prabhakar Das, Director of Netaji Yellappa Memorial Hospital, Thokkottu, who was the chief guest of the valedictory ceremony, said the Football ground of Nehru Maidan has produced a number of great footballers in the past several decades. “However the condition of Maidan never improved owing to the negligence of administration,” he lamented.
Suhail KK, the outgoing National President of SIO, congratulating all the players who participated in the tournament said the organisation has tried to create a new example through this event on how to play ethically and morally on the field and step towards success too. “The players showed their sportive spirit along with moral values,” he added.
Giving a new definition to the sports, he said: “Sports should not be for time waste; it is for creative utilization of time and space.”
Suhail also said that the religion of Islam is not mere a course of spirituality, but a complete code of civilisation with spirituality as its base.
DM Aslam, President of DK Football Association, Khasim, the match referee, Atheequrrahman, National Convener of the tournament, Shoukath Ali, outgoing State President of SIO, Ashfaq Shareef, Western Region President of SIO, KM Ashraf, Mangalore Unit President of JIH and a galaxy of office bearers of SIO and its patron organisation Jama’ath-e-Islami Hind were present on the occasion.