Real Betalbatim F.C. (RBFC) has proved once again that they are second to none among the Indian expatriate community when it comes to organizing international football tournaments in the State of Kuwait for the Indian community.
After a stupendous success in the previous two editions RBFC once again proved their mettle successfully in organizing the 3rd Edition of Open Rolling Football Tournament in fond memory of Late Sheikha Huda Bader Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah on 16th October 2013 at PGA Everton Grounds at Bayan, Kuwait. The football extravaganza had four teams from UAE taking part along with a strong line up of Kuwait based teams.
This year 24 teams participated, 4 Teams from Dubai, Aldona United F.C., Siolim United, FC Bardez and Emirates Goan Sports & Cultural Committee (EGSCC) and 20 teams from Kuwait, AVC - Kuwait, Don Bosco Oratory, Navelim Youth Center, DHL FC, Kuwait Goan Association, Santos United, Nagoa Verna Pereira Brothers, Real Betalbatim F.C, Veterans United, Goa Maroons, FC Sparks, Skynet Raiders, United Friends Club, Fahaheel Brothers, Blue Racers Guirim, Curtorcares United, Indian Strikers, Skyden United, Goan Boys and Vac Spartons.
The tournament was conducted on a round robin league cum knock out basis and a total of whooping 70 matches were held during the day from 07:30 am to 07:30 pm. The day’s proceedings commenced with a minute silence remembering the departed soul of Late Sheikha Huda Bader Mohammed Al-Ahmed al-Sabah and all others who have departed in recent times.
All the matches were played at a brisk pace with teams vying to qualify for the knockout stage. 8 teams who qualified were Aldona United Dubai, Siolim United Dubai, Navelim Youth Center, Goa Maroons, Real Betalbatim FC, Nagoa Verna Pereira Bros, Skyden United and United Friends Club. Renowned Teams to miss out were FC Bardez Dubai, Emirates Goans Dubai, AVC - Kuwait and DHL FC.
The knockout stage was a hotly contested affair among the eight qualifiers and teams making the semifinal line up were last year’s Champions, Siolim United Dubai v/s Nagoa Verna and Aldona United Dubai v/s United Friends Club. All were eagerly assuming that the finals would be an all Dubai affair but it was not to be as Siolim United bowed out in the tie breaker and had to be content with the 4th Place Trophy. The 3rd Place Trophy was won by United Friends Club, Kuwait.
The finals took place between Aldona United, Dubai and Nagoa Verna Pereira Brothers, Kuwait and was played at a blistering pace on the artificial pitch and it was a thrill for the spectators to witness the action. Both the teams especially Aldona United showed tremendous skills and ball control and were vying for the prestigious Rolling Trophy. Players who excelled with their skill and precision were Russell Rodrigues and Fraizer Picardo of Aldona United, Dubai and Anthony Rego and Godwin for Nagoa Verna Pereira Brothers.
The finalists matched equally in all departments of the game and the normal time ended in a barren draw. The winner had to be decided by a tie-breaker and once again the finals were won by the Dubai based team, Aldona United who ensured that the Trophy will take a flight to Dubai for the 3rd successive time. This is the 2nd time that Aldona United, Dubai has inscribed their name on the Trophy after having won the inaugural edition in 2011. Nagoa Verna Pereira Brothers had to settle for the Runners-up Trophy.
All the 70 Matches were officiated by renowned Indian Football Referees Association (IFRA) and for the second time in the history of Indian Football in Kuwait a lady referee Ms. Penny Rebello was seen officiating the matches. All the referees were presented with mementos and a special prize was given to the Ms. Penny Rebello.
Before the finals national anthems of Kuwait and India along with the specially crafted anthem of RBFC were played and giant balloons customized and procured from USA for the event were released to mark the event. Also a children’s exhibition match between Kuwait City Boys and Kheitan Boys was held in order to add spice to the day’s proceedings which was won by Kheitan Boys. Another highlight of the day was a women’s exhibition match which was a delight to watch bringing the memories of yesteryears.
Chief Guest, Mr. Asif Juzar, Managing Director of ProSports, Kuwait was accorded a warm welcome by the Managing Committee of RBFC led by President Vijay Gonsalves and Vice President Francis Fernandes. RBFC President, Vijay Gonsalves in his brief speech thanked RBFC Executive Committee for their tireless efforts in ensuring a successful tournament once again.
He thanked Sheikha Hanouf Bader Al-Sabah, Sheikha Dalal Bader Al-Sabah for their unstinted support. He also thanked the Chief Guest, Asif Juzar for accepting the invitation. He further thanked all the Club Presidents and 24 participating teams, supporters of RBFC, Mr. Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi, Managing Director, Gulf Cables & Electrical Co., Viva Goa Restaurant, Oriental Restaurant, Manoj Cardoso of Al-Bahar Group, Peter Mendes (Lays), IFRA Officials, Immaculate Gonsalves, Media Supporters, and the spectators for making this event a success. The Chief Guest also spoke. KIFF President Fidelis Fernandes and other Club Presidents were also present and gave away the Prizes.
Refreshments on the day were provided by Al-Bahar Group (Lipton), Viva Goa Restaurant (Bosco Rodrigues), Lays (Peter Mendes) and Gift Vouchers were given by Oriental Restaurant, Kuwait and Swiss Belhotel Plaza, Kuwait. Ace lens man Revon Gomes along with Simon Dias and Agusto Fernandes captured the day’s proceedings on camera. Renowned MC’s Merwyn Pereira and Alex Taylor took control of day’s program and DJ Mario enthralled the crowd with his selections...
The Winners Rolling Trophy and Gift Voucher were awarded to Aldona United, Dubai and Runners-up Trophy and Gift Voucher was awarded to Nagoa Verna Pereira Brothers, Kuwait. Trophies were awarded to Best Goalkeeper: Newton Pereira – Siolim United - Dubai, Best Defender: Fraizer Picardo, Aldona United - Dubai, Best Midfielder: Godwin, Nagoa Verna, Best Striker: Russell Rodrigues, Aldona United – Dubai, Best Discipline Team: Siolim United, Dubai and Best Player of Finals: Anthony Rego, Nagoa Verna Periera Brothers, Kuwait. Special mementos were presented to Dubai based teams Aldona United, FC Bardez, Emirates Goans (EGSCC) and Siolim United for their participation in the prestigious Tournament. It was a day to remember for all football loving Indian expatriate community which was exquisitely organized by Real Betalbatim Football Club Kuwait.