All Kerala FC Crowned KIFF League Champions
- Skynet win Fair Play Award; AKFC’s Rafiq bags Top Scorer Award with 14 goals
Kuwait: The football World Cup has surely created a buzz and interest among fans. Football is one area in Kuwait that brings Indians of different cultures and societies together.
In an exciting finale to the Kuwait Indian Football Federation (KIFF) League, new entrants All Kerala Football Club (AKFC) were crowned champions of Kuwait for the prestigious J. P. D’Mello Memorial Trophy- season 2017~18.
The final was sponsored by M/s Gulf Cable & Electrical Industries Co.
Though the match was played under floodlights, Kuwait’s summer winds and temperatures hovering around the 50°mark made it strenuous on the players and spectators.
AKFC beat formidable 6-time League winners Goa Maroons convincingly by 4-1 at the Bayan Grounds on 29th May 2018.
MuhammedSameel opened the scoring for AKFC with a penalty awarded for a foul just inside the D-area (1-0).InzamamNazer (2 goals), and substitute Haris scored the other goals for AKFC.
Maroons captain Steven Rodrigues pulled one back late in the match off a penalty rebound. The penalty was awarded after a Maroons player was brought down in the penalty area. The resultant kick was saved by AKFC goalkeeper Amees, however, Steven slotted home the rebound.
AKFC, coached by Mubarak encouraged his team to play an attacking fast-paced game all throughout with captainShanavasPuthiyedath, Jamsheel and Inzamam excelling in front.
Maroons’ players seemed tired in the second session after playing a well-organized first half. While the services of dependable defender Steven Correia (out with an injury) were dearly missed, stopper-back John Furtado had no clue in preventing the marauding Keralites. And if it was not for goalkeeper Britto, the margin of defeat would have been pathetic.
INZAMAM DAZZLES FOR AKFC
AKFC’s young striker Inzamamdazzled with an exceptional all-round display – amazing touch, ball control and footballing technique. Although he was substituted with a pulled muscle at the fag end, he had won the hearts of his team-mates and was rightly adjudged man of the match.
AKFC’s star striker Rafiq who was not in town to play the final match won the Top Scorer of the Season with 14 goals. He was presented with a trophy, and a gold memento at the hands Mr. V.K. Vohra.
THE CHAMPIONS: AKFC
Amees Ahammed (Goalkeeper), Danish Mekuth, Safaf Kuniyil, Anthony Xavier, Noushad Thenamkunnu, Jamsheel Methalakath, Krishna Chandran, Muhammed Samel, Inzamam Nazer, Sameer Mannithodi, Shanavas Puthiyedath (captain), Prasad, Haris, Mansoor, Maneer, Ansar, Sanil, Naushad, etc.
Team Manager: Siddique
Prior to the finals, an exhibition match of budding footballers from Franco FA was played between Franco Football Academy Blues and Yellows. The match was won by Blues 7-6 after the teams were locked 1-1 after normal time.
Incidentally, Franco FA are champions of Kuwait Academies Football Association (KAFA) League – Season 2017/2018. The young U-11 boys displayed incredible talent, grit & determination consistently throughout the season, winning the coveted KAFA League, in addition to several other Cup tournaments.
Players of the exhibition match were all awarded medallions and the Blues won a trophy. Head Coach of the team Darwin D’Cruz and Academy Director Merwin Franco were also awarded medallions.
KIFF PRESIDENT SPEAKS HIS HEART
KIFF President Mr.Derick Gomindes was the chief guest on the occasion while Mr.Gannem D. Hajji (Ministry of Interior) was guest of honour.
Mr.Merwin Franco of Gulf Cable & Electrical Industries Co. was a special invitee along with KIFF Ex-Presidents and presidents of affiliated clubs. A number of other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.
In the Presidential address, DerickGomindes thanked the sponsors especially Gulf Cable, KIFF Managing Committee members, guests, affiliates and everyone associated with KIFF for the support rendered towards Indian football in Kuwait.
The President was also acknowledged thanks to the Technical Committee of KIFF, Auditors, KIFF Referees, Federation Cup sponsors, Veterans Tournament sponsors (Mr. Tony Dias), Public Authority of Sports, KEFAK and its Managing Committee, Mr. Ahmed Al Sayegh, Mr.ArifJuzair of Pro Sports, media and MCs Julio Cardoso, Gasper Crasto, Penny Rebello, Kevin Vaz, Photographer Rivon Gomes, Goa Caterers, etc.
While showing concern towards the future of KIFF due to increasing costs incurred in running the federation, Derick showed optimism in the upcoming season.
“We look to move ahead despite all hurdles and take Indian football to a higher pedestal,” the President stated later. The dynamic personality is a former footballer, and Head Coach of Goa Maroons. He has been involved with football activities in Kuwait since 1992.
OFFICIALS FOR THE SEASON
The final was officiated by Bernard Fernades assisted by Rosario Colaco and Christopher Fernandes on the lines; Rafi Islahi was the fourth official.
KIFF referees for the season were appointed from different clubs affiliated to the federation. The referees body is run by chief coordinator Bernard Fernandes and assisted by Robert Bernard.
FAIR PLAY AWARD AND OTHER AWARDS
Glittering individual prizes and trophies were presented at the prize distribution ceremony.
Skynet Miracles bagged the prestigious Fair Play Award; the trophy was collected by Skynet’s President Cajie Fernandes.
Top Scorer of the League – Rafiq (AKFC)
Man of the Match – InzamamNazer (AKFC)
The prizes were given away at the hands of K.I.F.F President Derick Gomindes, Guest of Honour Mr.Gannem Hajji, V.K. Vohra, Fidelis Fernandes, Tony Dias, Carmo Santos, Robert Bernard, Salvador Dias, Cajie Fernandes, Merwin Franco, etc.
COMPERE & DJ
Gasper Crastocompered the evening and the prize distribution ceremony.
DJ Cheslee provided the sound and music. The moments were captured on camera by Kuwait’s well-known photographer Rivon Gomes of www.goa-world.com. Goa Caterers (Bernard) were caterers for the day.
J.P. D’MELLO KIFF LEAGUE
The year-long ‘desert’ league which usually begins in October is played in extreme climatic conditions – sometimes in winters as cold 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 India’s only 11-aside recognized league abroad.
J.P. Memorial Rolling Trophy – KIFF League is named after late Jerome PascoalD’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.
LEAGUE FORMAT AND PARTICIPATING TEAMS:
The league was played on a round-robin divided into 2 groups. Top 4 teams in each group played the knockout phase.
Participating clubs for the season initially included Soccer Kerala, Curtorcares United, Indian Strikers FC, Skynet Miracles SC, United Goans Centre (UG Strikers), Goa FC, Pen Friends United, Don Bosco Oratory, FC Sparks, AVC Kuwait, Goa Maroons, Santos United, All Kerala Football Club, Tuskers FC, etc.
RUNNERS-UP: GOA MAROONS
Britto Pereira (goalkeeper), Carlton Mascarenhas, Muhammed Shaheed, John Furtado, Obul Reddy Boraa, Peter Kustodio Fernandes, Steven Rodrigues (captain), Ritesh Perambra, Seby Barbosa, Ruming Paulose, Vishal Kotak, Sean Menezes, Steven Correia, Mohammed Kuknor, Zelito Cardozo, Saif Yusuf, Mohammed Jasim, Conrad Pinto, etc.
Team Manager: Derick Gomindes
RECORD OF LEAGUE FOR LAST 10 YEARS
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
2015~16 – Soccer Kerala
2016~17 – Kuwait Goan Association
2017~18 – All Kerala Football Club