Sunday, March 19, 2023

Bengaluru to host SAFF Championship in June

AIFF Media 

The SAFF Championship 2023 will be hosted in Bengaluru, Karnataka, from June 21 to July 3, 2023, All India Football Federation President Mr. Kalyan Chaubey announced in the city on Sunday, March 19, 2023.

AIFF Secretary General Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran was present on the occasion, along with AIFF Vice President and Karnataka State Football Association President Mr. NA Haris and Karnataka Olympic Association President Dr. K Govindaraj.

This will be the 14th edition of the tournament, and India will be hosting it for the fourth time. Over the years, the Blue Tigers have asserted their dominance in the SAFF Championship, winning it eight times; the Maldives are the closest to India, having won the title twice.

The 2023 SAFF Championship will be played from June 21 to July 3, with all member associations of the SAFF are expected to fight it out for the top prize.

The tournament will see the teams divided into two groups and play round-robin matches in the group stage, with the top two teams from each group progressing to the semi-finals. The date for the Draw will be announced later.

"It is an extremely happy occasion for me to announce to all of you that we would be hosting the SAFF Championship in Bengaluru in June/July this year," said Mr. Chaubey. "SAFF is a great opportunity for us to promote love and brotherhood between all the countries in the South Asian region, and I am sure that the players of each National Team will do everything in their power to give a great account of their countries.

"I would like to welcome all the visiting teams with open arms, as we promote brotherhood across borders. Football is one of the most powerful ways to spread the message of love between people, and it is a moment of pride for us to be able to host all of them," he said.

A former India International, Mr. Chaubey had won the SAFF Championship on two occasions with the Blue Tigers – 1999 in Goa, and 2005 in Karachi.

"I’ve myself won the SAFF Championship on two occasions, and I can tell you from a player’s perspective how special it is to lift that trophy, and get that medal," said Mr. Chaubey. "I am sure all of our players will be raring to go and play out there with big hearts."


Thursday, March 16, 2023

Former ASC and State footballer Peter no more

A Peter, former state and ASC footballer passed away today at his residence in Gouthampura, near 515 Army Base Workshop. He is survived by his wife, a daughter, and two sons.

Peter specialised in playing in defensive positions. He had an illustrious career for ASC, where he was employed. Also, he represented Karnataka state in Santosh Trophy held at Kozikode, Kerala in 1976. Later he turned out for BEML in BDFA A Division League. 

Peter’s funeral will take place tomorrow, Friday, Mach 17, at the Old Madras Road, Christian Cemetery. 

KSFA, BDFA, RC condoled the demise of the former footballer.


Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Asian Games Medallist Sampath K no more

AIFF & KSFA Media 

The star keeper of the 1970 Bangkok Asian Games Bronze-winning Indian Football team 
Kuppuswamy Sampath passed away yesterday in Bengaluru. He is survived by his wife and daughter.

Born on September 15, 1947, the former India custodian had represented the country in 18 matches, which included the 1970 and 1972 Merdeka Cup, the 1970 Asian Games, and the 1971 Pesta Sukan Cup.

His international career was one strewn with accolades. Apart from the Asian Games when India won the bronze medal, Sampath was also a part of the India team that ended third in the 1970 Merdeka Cup and joint champions of the 1971 Pesta Sukan Cup in Singapore.

In the 1970 Asian Games, the two coaches, GMH Basha and PK Banerjee, had so much faith in him that Sampath was one of the few players in the squad, who figured in all the six matches India played in a span of 11 days. His teammates still recall how Sampath flew like a bird to the far post to save a powerful shot from famed Japan striker Kunishige Kamamoto during the closing stages of the Bronze Medal match. India eventually won the match by a solitary goal.

At the domestic level, Sampath had represented Services (1970-73) and Goa (1974-78) in the Santosh Trophy.

He had also played for the Madras Engineering Group from 1960 to 1972, and for Dempo SC from 1973 to 1978. It was at the latter club where he won the Rovers Cup in 1974 and 1978.

Monday, March 6, 2023

FC Bengaluru United lift Stafford Challenge Cup

FCBU Media 

FC Bengaluru United (FCBU) put in a stellar performance to keep a resurgent Chennaiyin FC down and emerge worthy Stafford Challenge Cup 2023 champions with a hard-fought 2-1 victory.  Vinil Poojary (31’) helped FC Bengaluru United get on the scoreboard but Chennaiyin FC fought back with a goal in the 70th minute. But once again, it was Irfan Yadwad, who has been in sharp form for his team right through the tournament, scored in the added time of second half (90’+3’) to seal a much-deserved win for FC Bengaluru United.

Chennaiyin FC looked to get into the groove early, controlling possession. FCBU goalkeeper Kabir Toufiq was pressed into action early on, smartly tipping a long-range shot over the bar. However, it wasn’t long before FCBU hit their stride, creating half-chances through freekicks and control possession. Nikhil Mali and Vinil Poojari were in the thick of things for FCBU, giving the Chennaiyin FC defence quite a bit of work.  It was Vinil Poojaray, with a free kick, who finally broke the shackles in the 30th minute. A beautiful freekick from the right side of the ground off his left foot beat the Chennaiyin FC goalkeeper and got FCBU up and running on the scoreboard. That goal seemed to galvanise FCBU; Mali, Poojari, Sudhir Kottikela, and Yadwad were at the centre of the action, crafting attacking moves as they looked to try and further the lead.

FCBU very nearly had their second goal early in the second half, which could have sealed the game, but Mali failed to convert the penalty. They kept taking the attack to Chennaiyin FC, but Chennaiyin FC equalized against the run of play in 70th minute through Senthamil, who evaded the FCBU defence and got a clean strike in, perhaps the first error made by the FCBU defence. 

Chennaiyin FC upped the ante after their goal, but the FCBU defence held strong. In the 85th minute, Aenam K Jyrwa dribbled into the box, only to have the Chennaiyin defence FC block his efforts. Minutes later, once again it was Aenam who tried to get the ball at the back of the net after Yadwad missed a bicycle kick – his shot just sailing over the goal.

Five minutes of extra time and both teams looked to press on. A corner taken by Selwyn Miranda was cleared out by Bedashwor Singh, which made its way back to Selwyn. The ball reached Irfan, who had been looking to get his first strike of the game – a well-controlled header sealing a spectacular win and tournament for FCBU with a deft header.


Friday, March 3, 2023

Chennaiyin beat Delhi to enter Stafford Final

pic: KSFA Media 

The first semi-final of Stafford Challenge Cup witnessed some exciting moments before Chennaiyin FC got the better of Delhi FC in tie-breaker at the Bangalore Football Stadium today. The reserve team of Chennaiyin was quick enough to take a lead in 18th minute from Givson Singh. Talented Sajal Bag made it 2-0 from a beautiful long ranger in the added time. 

After changing ends, Delhi showed urgency to come back to the game, however, didn’t have enough sharpness in their attack to score, though they did reduce the score in the half-way via penalty, and finally equalled few minutes before the regulation time. 

The game went straight to penalty shoot-out. Though Chennaiyin missed the first shot while Delhi successfully converted the same. Delhi wasted 3rd and 4th shot while Chennai scored the rest of the shots thus moving to the final of Stafford Challenge Cup.