Kuwait Indian Football League set for Grand Finale
Exclusive Report by Gasper Crasto
Kuwait: Most football league across the globe have ended, winners declared and celebrations done.
The Kuwait Indian Football Federation (KIFF) League for the prestigious J.P D’Mello Trophy is set for a grand finale at Mishref Grounds, 6:00 pm Friday 20th May 2016.
The league final shall be played between FC Sparx and Soccer Kerala. With both teams making it to the finals for the first time, a new champion is imminent.
EXCITING SEMIFINAL BETWEEN SPARX V/S KGA-NAGOA
Temperatures in Kuwait have been soaring high since the beginning of May, so has been the league completion which consisted a knockout from the quarter-final stage.
In the first semifinal, fleet-footed FC Sparx took the lead first half through Jithin Chacko who beat KGA-Nagoa goalkeeper Melvy Rodrigues (1-0).
KGA-Nagoa could have equalized quickly when they were awarded a penalty, however, Rego, entrusted with the responsibility saw his spot-kick hitting the post and go out.
Nevertheless, KGA-Nagoa succeeded in equalizing the scores in the second half (1-1) through Peter after FC Sparx keeper Mubasir fumbled to gather a regulation collection.
Sparx missed to go ahead again when the crossbar came to the opponent’s rescue on 3 different occasions.
In the ensuing tie-breaker after extra-time, FC Sparx turned out better shooters.
KGA-Nagoa, who played an excellent season, excelled through Savio Faria, John Costa, Roy Almeida, Peter D’Souza, the Rego brothers and war-horse Tiago Fernandes.
Sparx’ midfielder Hussain Ali, a livewire of the team, was rightly adjudged man of the match for his excellent display.
SOCCER KERALA THRASH GOA MAROONS 5-1
Dazzling ball control and swift-passing game enabled Shifa Al Jazeera-sponsored Soccer Kerala to a comfortable victory over 5-time winners Goa Maroons.
Perhaps it was the ‘unbearable heat’ in scorching sun that melted down Maroons but high temperatures were applicable to both teams!
It was GOA Maroons though who went ahead in the 4th minute through Conrad Pinto’s free-kick which gave no chance to Soccer Kerala goalkeeper Sarath.
Ramsheed scored the equalizer for Soccer Kerala midway into the first half.
Soccer Kerala, in only their second year in KIFF, dominated the second half scoring 3 goals with ease – one through Ramsheed and a brace by star striker Jineesh.
Sebastian made it (5-1) in the dying minutes.
For Maroons, captain Steven Rodrigues, Everest, Jeffrey Sequeira, Clayton Fernandes, Conrad Pinto, Roshan Dias and stopper-back Steven Correia played their hearts out for the team until the last minute.
Goa Maroons warrior James Figuera, playing in Kuwait since 1982 (for a record 34 seasons (barring Kuwait Invasion time), showed great determination in his game and discipline in defeat. In what seemed a grueling match, James was seen greeting fellow footballers and opponents after the match while others just walked away.
Soccer Kerala’s Ramsheed was awarded Man of the Match for his outstanding performance.
OFFICIALS FOR THE SEASON
KIFF matches are well supported by officials appointed from different clubs affiliated to the federation. The referees body is run by main coordinator Bernard Fernandes assisted by Robert Bernard and KIFF Secretary Domnic Pereira.
Referees have shown great capability and consistency this season which is evident from appreciationreceived from everyone connected with the game and in supporting Indian Football in Kuwait.
Victor Andrade and Ziddique conducted the 2 semifinals, well supported by Agnelo D’Cunha, Rafi, Aref and Rosario Colaco.
AVC Overseas Sports and Cultural Association, popularly known as AVC–Kuwait will be crowned ‘Season Champions’having secured maximum points in overall matches played throughout the season 2015~16.
This is AVC’s 5th Seasons Champions title since its inception; the club has been in the forefront of Indian expatriate football activities winning almost all laurels. AVC was instituted in the year 2001.
J.P. D’MELLO KIFF LEAGUE
The year-long ‘desert’ league which usually begins in October is played in extreme climatic conditions – sometimes in winter cold as low as 2°C and summers nearing 50°C.
Kuwait Indian Football Federation (K.I.F.F.) established in 1984 controls the League and tournaments organized in Kuwait.
The League played under the auspices of KIFF provides Indian players with the opportunity to showcase their football skills against the best competition, while emphasizing teamwork, discipline and fair play — in perhaps one of India’s only 11-aside recognized league abroad.
J.P. Memorial Rolling Trophy – KIFF League is named afterlate Jerome Pascoal D’Mello (popularly known in India and Kuwait as J.P).
J.P was an ex-FIFA referee, Member of Asian Football Confederation Referees Committee, and Ex-Hon. Secretary and Member of Bombay Referees’ Association.
A founder President of the federation, J.P was the prime architect in conceiving the idea of forming KIFF. His memory is kept alive by KIFF through affiliated Indian clubs by naming the KIFF League after him.
J.P who lived in Andheri East, Mumbai left for heavenly abode in 1994.
Teams that participated in the season 2015~16 included AVC Sports & Cultural Association, Curtorcares United, D.H.L. Sports Club, Don Bosco Oratory, FC Sparx, Goan Overseas Association (Goa Maroons), YRC Rising Stars, Indian Strikers, Malabar United FC, Navelim Youth Centre (NYC), Santos United, Skynet-Miracles, Soccer Kerala, Kerala Challengers, United Goans Center (UG Strikers), and Nagoa-Kuwait Goan Association (KGA).
KIFF MANAGING COMMITTEE FOR SEASON 2015~16:
President – Derrick Gomindes (GOA Maroons)
Vice-President – Xavier Furtado (AVC)
Gen. Secretary – B.M. Viegas (KGA -Nagoa Verna)
Sports Secretary – Domnick Pereira (Curtorcares United)
Treasurer – JinuKurien (Kerala Challengers)
Registrar – Marshall Fernandes (YRC Rising Stars)
Asst. Sports Secretary – Claro Fernandes (DHL)
P.R.O – Austin Abreo (Skynet Miracles FC)
Executive Member – Robert Bernard (Indian Strikers)
LINE-UP OF FINALISTS
Probable line-up for the finals will be as follows:
FC SPARX: Mubasir, Hisham Yakub, Savio Rodrigues, Sanju Karikant, Mohd Kagzer, Mani Shan, Ahmed Ali, Hussain Ali, Anas Kutimon, Mujeeb Rahman, Jithin Chako, Nameen Kareen, Biju Mani, Praveen Kumar, Rajesh Gopal, Zaheer, Kamnas Puthan, Mohd Mahi, etc.
Team Manager: Samir Nasri; Head Coach: Jaykumar
SOCCER KERALA: Sarath, Domnic, Manu, Sujith, Ratheesh, Prince, Nidhish, Ramsheed, Sebastian, Shefeek, Jineesh, Kochumon, Sajesh, Aivey, Nidheesh, Jinto, Kishore, Vishnu, etc.
Team Manager: George Joseph; Head Coach: Biju Johny
KIFF LEAGUE CHAMPIONS SINCE THE YEAR 2000~01
2000/01 – GOA Maroons
2001/02 – Navelim Youth Centre
2002/03 – United Friends Club
2003/04 – Bombay Boys
2004/05 – AVC Overseas Association
2005/06 – Navelim Youth Centre
2006-07 – Kuwait Goan Association
2007-08 – Navelim Youth Centre
2008-09 – Goa Maroons
2009-10 – United Friends Club
2010-11 – GOA Maroons
2011-12 – Don Bosco Oratory
2012-13 – Navelim Youth Centre
2013-14 – AVC Overseas Association
2014-15 -Don Bosco Oratory
KIFF League Final Fixture for season 2015~16 on 20th May 2016:
FC Sparx v/s Soccer Kerala