IFB Boca Football Champs: MSPHSS - Mallapuram & SGGS - Chandigarh win in their categories!
Team MSPHSS Mallapuram from Kozhikode captained by Asif A triumphed over Fr. Agnel High School Pilar, Goa captained by Megan Silveira with the final score reading 2-0.
In the college level national tournament, which is the first of its kind in the country, team SGGS from Chandigarh captained by Nikhil Prashar won over Barasat College, Kolkata captained by Muzaffar Ali, with the final score reading 4-0.
Sixteen teams from eight cities – Delhi, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Kozhikode, Shillong, Pune and Goa – competed for the top spot in Goa. The Cuncolim ground in Goa saw a packed crowd of enthusiastic football supporters converge at the football field to cheer for the teams.
The first-ever IFB Boca Football Champs - a nationwide search for the country's next Diego Maradona, Gabriel Batistuta, Riquelme and Carlos Tevez culminated in Goa.
IFB roped in the very best technical partners to carry out its sports mission - the Argentinian Club, Club Atlético Boca Juniors who have had players like the legendary Diego Maradona and other players including Gabriel Batistuta, Juan Sebastian Veron, Riquelme, Claudio Canigga, Fernando Gago and Carlos Tevez coming through the youth development program of the club.
30 shortlisted players from the tournament will participate in a one week training camp in Goa conducted by coaches from Club Atlético Boca Juniors, out of which 14 players will travel to Buenos Aires to train under the coaches of Boca Juniors.
Over the last five months well known former international footballer who also played for top Indian clubs East Bengal Club and Mohammedan Sporting Club, and Head Scout at the IFB Boca Football Champs, Jamshid Nassiri, has been keeping a keen eye on the players at selections across the country scouting for potential talent.
16 winning teams in all, two from each city (winners of the school and college tournament in each of the cities) made it to the grand finals in Goa. DAV School and Khalsa College from Chandigarh; CRPF Rohini and Maharaja Agrasen from Delhi; Jangram High School and Barasat College from Kolkata; JN Petit and Bishops from Pune; ASC Boys and Al Ameen from Bangalore; MSPHSS Mallapuram and MES College
Mampad from Kozhikode; Shillong College HSS and Shillong College from Shillong and Fr. Agnel School Pilar and Rosary College Navelim from Goa locked horns at the play-offs in Goa
The tournament saw a total of 270 schools and 186 colleges battle it out to make it to the final 16 teams who are being hosted in Goa this weekend to play the finals.
An official from IFB Industries Ltd said, "The IFB Boca Football Champs initiative has enabled us to reach out to and bring together talented players from several parts of the country to uncover some of the best and dynamic football talent. Many of the promising players come from economically backward sections of society for whom this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are happy to facilitate and offer this incredible break to the players. We have always believed that India has immense sporting talent. Through our association with one of the world's best football club Club Atlético Boca Juniors from Argentina and the amazingly talented Jamshid Nassiri we look forward to nurturing football talent in the country."
Jamshid Nassiri, Head Scout of IFB Boca Football Champs, added, "The level of football we have seen over the last few months is encouraging. During the course of the selections and trials across cities, we have come across some wonderfully talented football players who could become stars in the future."
Former cricketer Rohan Gavaskar said, "Football is my passion. IFB Boca Football Champs is a great initiative to encourage talent within football. This is also the first national tournament of its kind for which is not limited to schools alone but also includes colleges. The Club Atlético Boca Juniors have produced some of the finest football players in the world, like Diego Maradona, Carlos Tevez and Juan Roman Riquelme. IFB's tie-up with an institution of football of such magnitude is a excellent opportunity for potential players to learn and train with the finest club."
The IFB Boca Football Champs initative kicked off in December 2013 is a grassroots level football tournament organized by IFB Industries in association with Argentinean club, Club Atlético Boca Juniors. The sports initiative drew over 4,000 players from 270 schools and 186 colleges from 8 cities across the country.