Institute Football League 2011
Football, ‘The beautiful game’ knows no boundaries and continues to enthral the hearts of millions around the globe. Be it the feel of a perfect volley or the grace in a players’ dribble, football has attained an unparalleled global stature. The Institute Football League (IFL) emerged in order to do justice to the diehard football crazy fans in the institute.
Since its inception in 2008, the IFL has aimed at increasing student participation in football. The unique & exhilarating experience that IFL offers has created a large fan base with over 220 people registering as players this year.
THE VISION-THE MANAGEMENT
IFL 2011 saw a fresh revamped format where aside from the original league trophy to play for, teams had a shot at winning a second trophy ‘The League Cup’, which was a knock-out competition that ran alongside the league (much like how the EPL has the FA Cup). “Our vision was to make IFL bigger and better. We wanted to add more professionalism in the game, increase the overall enthusiasm amongst people and also give them better incentive to play” said a visibly satisfied Ishan Nadkarni (IFL-OC). By having two trophies, even if a team lost out in one format, it still had another cup to play for.
The positive effect that this revolutionary modification had was that there was not a single match in which a team fielded an incomplete line up, unlike the previous years.
“Our budget for IFL 2011 saw a 120% increase as compared to the previous year through our sponsorship deals with Airtel and Canara Bank. This increased funding helped us in providing players with refreshments at Sarah Icecream Center after every league game they played. We also had bigger trophies and cash prizes to give to the winning teams” said Rohan Parekh (IFL-OC & Institute Football Secretary).
IFL 2011 kick-started with the all important ‘Bidding Ceremony’. This is where the managers tough it out, fighting tooth and nail to build their dream squads, hoping to achieve glory! This years’ bidding ceremony was a cracker, as all managers had not only done their homework well but also adopted a smart & measured approach in bidding for players. This resulted in very evenly matched squads, where it was difficult to assign any team with the ‘favourite‘ tag. Harmin Shah was the most valuable player, going for an all time high of 385 points out of a maximum possible 1000 for the entire team. The league was good to go,GAME ON!
The league this year was as close as it can be! The final table had the top three teams tied on equal points, with ‘Arsenal’ narrowly emerging as champions on goal difference. The standings were undecided until the very last match of the league, ‘Inter Milan Vs Real Madrid’ where the league was poised as such; if either of these teams won the match, they would be league leaders but in case it was a draw, Arsenal would take home the spoils! Xitij Kothi of Real Madrid, with four minutes left in the game scored what everybody believed was the winner, but as fate would have it, with barely a few seconds left on the clock, Inter Milan managed to clinch the equaliser, crowning Arsenal as champions!
This format was a huge success as it ensured teams who lost out in the league, were pumped up and ready to go all out for this cup. This competition followed a knock-out format. The finals was a keenly contested match between league leaders Arsenal and Barcelona. It was an exciting match with both teams coming very close to breaking the dead lock, but were unable to do so and when the final whistle was blown, a penalty shoot-out beckoned. Barcelona triumphed 3-1 in the shoot-out and became the first ever League Cup Winners!
The presentation ceremony was attended by Dean SA Prof. Gopalan & Chairman Sports Prof. Punit. In his speech the Dean of Student Affairs addressed “We want to send across a message that we support events like IFL” and congratulated Aman Sir for his contributions to the IIT Bombay Football Culture. Prof. Punit remarked that he was glad that such events are being organised in the institute which force students out of their rooms, away from their laptops and LAN.
Individual Category Prize winners
1. Best PLayer of IFL 2011: Ishan Singh
2. Best Freshmen : Karthik Sharma
3. Best Goalkeeper: Rahil Mehta
4. Best Defender: Sahil Agarwal
5. Best Midfielder: Ashwin Krishnan
6. Best Forward: Shobhit Srivastav
IFL 2011 League Winners: Arsenal
(Manager: Sandeepan Dutta)
IFL 2011 League Cup Winners: Barcelona
(Manager: Anurag Agarwal)