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ARFAI National Championship 2014

Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 by ARFAI,


The much awaited event of the year for all the footy fanatics in India, National Championship 2014, took place this year on the 1st and 2nd of November in Navi Mumbai, Maharastra. The tournament was preceded by introductory training sessions conducted by ARFAI officials for the kids residing in the colony on the ground of which the tournament took place along with an Umpiring Workshop conducted by Mayur Vora who has trained as an umpire at international level.

Nine teams participated in the tournament, which were divided into two categories with the seniors group consisting of four teams and the juniors group consisting of five. The tournament took off with a brilliant exhibition of footy skills in a match between the junior teams Maharashtra Cats and Bengal Tigers who were playing for the first time in the National Championship. The Tigers proved to be too strong for the Cats and bagged an impressive victory with the final score being Tigers 18 – Cats 1.

The first two teams to play in the seniors division were the Kerala Bombers and Jharkhand Crows, another new entry in the tournament. Bombers had returned as an improved side and made the best use of their speed and agility to keep possession of the footy. Crows nonetheless equally matched their ability and put a great fight not allowing the Bombers to score. The match ended with the Crows emerging victorious having scored a behind at the last moment.


It was observed that all the teams had returned this year with a significant improvement in their skills and a better understanding of the game. The new teams namely, Maharashtra Giants (Junior), Jharkhand Crows(Senior & Junior), Bengal Tigers (Junior) and Rajasthan Eagles(Junior) showed great potential and displayed gallant efforts on the field considering that they had started playing the sport not very long before the championship.

Day one ended with some spectacular matches with all the teams giving their best to get to the finals. All the teams in the seniors group won a match each. The Bombers surprised and impressed everyone with their clean game and sharp tactics. The junior division was dominated by the Jharkhand Crows who left everybody awestruck with their accurate kicking and superb marking abilities.


Day two began with an opening match between the Jharkhand Crows and Maharashtra Cats of the junior division and the Crows continued their winning streak, defeating the Cats by 21 points, not allowing them to score at all. Senior teams Bengal Tigers and Kerala Bombers started the day with a tough battle with both the teams fighting fiercely for points. The Tigers matched Bombers speed with strength and used their tackling skills with great success defeating the Bombers with a score of Tigers 26 – Bombers 14.

Co-incidentally, the two teams to reach the finals in the seniors as well as juniors division were Bengal Tigers and Jharkhand Crows. The juniors went first and both the teams played their best football and entertained the onlookers with their spectacular performance. The Crows bagged the Winner’s trophy defeating the Tigers, with the final score being Crows 29 – Tigers 12.

In the seniors division the old favorites Bengal Tigers used their experienced players tactfully and overcame a strong defense put on by the Crows. Bengal Tigers emerged victorious with the final score Tigers 14 – Crows 9.

Sudip Chakraborty, Secretary General of ARFAI, Lincoln Harris, Vice president of ARFAI, Rhan Harris Coach of Salvo Hawks football club, Helen Mell, ARFAI ambassador were some of the guests present at the event. The tournament concluded with the guest presenting the awards to the winning teams and distributing the individual player awards. The winner of the Best Mark award in the junior division was Suvankar Krittaniya of the Tigers and in the senior division was Ankit Bara of Crows.

The trophy for the Best Goal was awarded to Rahul Yogi of Rajasthan Eagles in the junior division and Abdul Ashraf N V of the Kerala Bombers from the senior division. The prestigious award of the Best Player went to Navin Thapa of Crows in the junior category and Maidul Ali of Tigers in the seniors category.

One of the highlights of the closing ceremony was players from all the teams coming together and dancing arms around each other to traditional folk music. The 3rd annual National Championship ended clearly indicating the progress that has been achieved in the development of the sport in the country and the ever growing footy family.