Monthly Archives: May 2016

Premier Futsal : Virat Kohli unveils marquee signing Falcao & launches nationwide talent hunt

Premier Futsal, Virat Kohli, marquee, Falcao, talent hunt
~Talent hunt to pick the best futsal talent in India to play alongside world’s top players
~Any aspiring futsallers aged 18-24 eligible to register
~Talent hunt to pick 40 most talented players in India to play in the league

 

May 12th, Bangalore: Premier Futsal today launched a nationwide talent hunt to identify and pick the top local futsalling talent to play in the inaugural season of the world’s first-ever multi-national futsal league. Dubbed ‘Premier Futsal Launchpad’, the talent hunt will kick off on May 26th in Mumbai, taking in seven other cities across the country before it concludes on June 21st in Delhi.

The talent hunt will pick a total of 40 players – five per city – who will go on to represent their home cities in the league. Global futsal legend Alessandro Rosa Vieira ‘Falcao’, Premier Futsal league ambassador Virat Kohli and Chairman Xavier Britto launched the talent hunt.

Premier Futsal Chairman, Xavier Britto said, “The Premier Futsal League is a unique concept in that it’s the only multi-national futsal league in the world. But even as the league will have the best global futsalling and footballing talent on display, we are committed to driving the holistic development of the sport through the creation of a strong base of local players.

Premier Futsal, Virat Kohli, marquee, Falcao, talent huntAlessandro Rosa Vieira ‘Falcao’ said, “I think the concept holds a lot of promise and has the potential to grow what is a truly spectacular, fast-paced game in a major way in India. While I’m really looking forward to testing my skills against the world’s best futsal and football players, I’m equally excited to be measuring myself against the best India has to offer.”

Premier Futsal league ambassador Virat Kohli said, “The launch of Premier Futsal is a massive shot in the arm for Indian sport. We’ve seen India’s appetite for different sports growing over the last few years and I’m sure a sport as exciting, competitive and riveting as futsal will strike a chord with sports fans here. I think the talent hunt is a great initiative which will nurture local talent and help futsal establish itself firmly among India’s most followed sports.”

The talent hunt is open to any applicants between 18 to 24 years of age. Aspiring futsallers can register to be part of the talent hunt online or on the spot at select sports clubs and colleges across the eight cities that Premier Futsal will be visiting.

Managing Director, Premier Futsal, Mr. Dinesh Raj said “The talent hunt will not only give the top homegrown futsalling talent the chance to measure themselves against the best the world has to offer, but also set the stage for the emergence of the next generation of futsal stars.”

Applicants will be put through their paces at a three-day camp in each city, where they will be evaluated for physical fitness and mental agility, and technical attributes like flair, creativity, positioning, dribbling, passing and tackling.

About 25 of the most promising candidates from each city will then advance to an exhaustive three-week boot camp in Mumbai, where they will train along with international players, before five from each city are chosen to represent their home side in the league.

The cities which will host the talent hunt are – Mumbai, Goa, Cochin, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad and New Delhi.

Premier Futsal, the world’s first multi-national team-based Futsal league, is set to take place in India from July 15th to July 24th with each game split into two halves of 20 minutes each. Over 50 International Futsalers, from four Continents and 21 countries are expected to participate. The league, governed by the Futsal Association of India (FAI) with accreditation from international governing body, Asociación Mundial de Futsal (AMF), was launched in Mumbai earlier this week in the presence of the founding team and FAI representative

 

About Premier Futsal Management Pvt Ltd

 

Premier Futsal Management Pvt Ltd is the founding and controlling entity of Premier Futsal, a pioneering franchise-model international Futsal league based in India. The company comprises of Luis Figo, Former World Soccer player of the year and Real Madrid FC legend, as President, Mr. Xavier Britto of Indev Logistics as primary Investor & Chairman, Mr. Dinesh Raj as Managing Director, Mr. Abhinandan Balasubramanian as CEO & Director, Ms. Nithyashree Subban as Finance Director and Mr. Balu Nayar as Executive Director.

 

Should Aizawl FC be relegated?

Aizawl FC, North East, Football, Mizoram, Aizawl, I-league, Relegation, Gowth, development

Before Aizawl FC played their first I-league match against Mohun Bagan,  I had not seen them play ever. Against Bagan, under their Spanish coach, Manuel Retamero Fraile, they played some amazing football. Short crisp passing and movement, which is not a very usual sight in Indian football.  Even though they lost the match 3-1, they did not look like a team who were newly promoted and looked like a solid unit. Joy to watch but not efficient enough. For all that flair and style, Aizawl was not able to convert their chances. When they played at home, matches were sold out and got good support all through the league. Eventually, they fell short and is about to get the boot from I-league. But do they really deserve to be relegated?

Should have been more ambitious and pragmatic?

Aizawl played good football but they lacked a good striker to convert those chances. It was clear that they wouldn’t have escaped relegation without some quality players. But instead of recruiting some players, they went ahead and sacked their coach.

Aizawl under Manuel Retamero Fraile : L D L W L L
Aizawl under Jahar Das : D W L D L W L D L W

As evident, their fortunes did not change drastically even after they replaced their coach. Under Jahar Das, AFC did add Joel Sunday, a Nigerian striker who scored quite a few goals for them. However, I feel they should have retained their Spanish coach and should have added some more quality players to their side. If I-league players were too costly, they should have checked for some 2nd division players. Some more quality in their squad would have definitely helped their case.

Should Aizawl FC stay up?

The northeastern region in India is currently the hotbed of Indian football, especially Mizoram. They have a very promising set up in the state in terms of league and development. No wonder there are over 40 players from Mizoram playing in I-league. This was not achieved overnight. It is the fruition of a dedicated effort over the years – the results are there to show. Mizoram’s Santosh trophy win in 2014 and their victory at the National Games is a testament to that commitment. Aizawl FC’s entry into I-league after topping the 2nd division is a gradual and logical progression in Mizoram’s football journey. The question is should we have to forcefully halt that progression?

Over the last few years, we have had many clubs coming in and going out of I-league, especially from North East. If Rangdajied was thrown out, Royal Wahindoh decided to shut down their senior team after a swashbuckling appearance in I-league. And now Aizawl is on the brink of relegation. Whatever the reasons are, this is some serious injustice to clubs from the North East where football is undergoing considerable growth and is a huge market.

Resources of these clubs from North East might not match with others in the league, but what they have is sheer passion and commitment towards the sport. Take Royal Wahingdoh for example. They withdrew from I-league, but they have been a strong presence in the U-15 League, of which they were the runners-up after going down to Minerva on penalties.

If we are to reward the North East region and their football, instead of being a destructive force, stakeholders in Indian football should handhold these clubs to success. That could only lead to more aspiring clubs from North East to vie for spots in I-league and 2nd division.

The latest edition of I-league was a nine-team affair after Royal Wahindogh and Bharat FC backing out. If Aizwal is retained in the league and with another team promoted from the 2nd division, the number of teams in the I-league for the next edition could be a respectable ten.

As the data from the poll, I conducted on FNI suggests, a lot of fans are in favor of Aizawl FC staying up in the league. It’s time the voices are heard out loud and clear – let’s hope someone is taking a note.