Chilly Canada Cup 2019

Writer: Shuja Rasheed Category: সম্পাদকীয় (Editorial) Edition: Dhaboman - Eid 2019

Chilly Canada Cup 2019

Beginning of a new tradition

 

 It was a cold mid spring day when close to a hundred footballers of Bangladeshi descent along with almost two dozen players from other ethnicity gathered inside the large arena of Scarborough Soccer Center located at 45 Fairfax Crescent where two old ice hockey rinks had been converted into indoor rebound soccer fields and was the home of Scarborough Soccer Association. The players belonged to all age range from sixteen-year-old to in their mid forties. The excitement, anticipation and enthusiasm were high. The air inside was bubbling in pure joy. It was mid afternoon, 27th April, the occasion was an indoor soccer tournament hosted by Royal Bengals Club, a fraternity of soccer players Organized by Shuja - a life long soccer enthusiast from GTA. There was a large blue banner with red wordings that proudly declared ‘Chilly Canada Cup’ that hung on a wall facing the entrance. It was the first edition of the tournament that the organizer vowed to continue in the coming years.

At quarter to 4 PM local MPP Doly Begum (Scarborough Southwest) – the first ever Bangladeshi born person to be elected as an MP or MPP in Canada – gracefully cut a ribbon and kicked a football to inaugurate the tournament in front of the buzzing crowd.

The games started simultaneously on two fields located side by side a little after 4 PM under the capable hands of two professional referees. For the next 5 hours the arena remained spellbound with the immense energy, competitiveness and high spirit of the players belonging to five teams that participated, namely - Amra Goal DC, Brookbanks FC, Blue Panther, Snow Leopards, and White Walkers. Each team consisted of up to fifteen male players with no age limit and maximum five players from other ethnicity (not of Bangladeshi descent).

After an intense round-robin league phase four teams made it to the semifinals. The first semifinal between Brookbanks FC and Blue Panther went into a tiebreaker after the game completed in a 0-0 draw after regular time. With the Blue Panther goalie Sabbir saving a crucial penalty kick followed by Blue Panther penalty takers scoring their first three goals and Brookbanks next two penalty takers missing both theirs, the game was settled with a 3-0 win for the Blue Panthers, and send them to the finals.

On the other field, Amra Goal DC remained persistent with their continuous attack and eventually crashed the relatively younger but very spirited Snow Leopards 3-1.

The final between Blue Panther and Amra Goal DC was an epic game - every moment seemed intense, every move potentially dangerous, every kick promising something – it was filled with excitement and showed the highest callibre of competitiveness and sportsmanship with very few fouls and no cards issued.  Eventually, Blue Panther came out as the winner, thanks to their skillfull forward of Indian descent Maulik who dribbled past three defenders inside the opponent D box and shot the ball with his left foot to the left upper corner of the goalposts stunning the goalkeeper to give take his team ahead. That was the only goal scored in the game.

Blue Panther, one of two teams hosted by Royal Bengals Club fraternity, became the Champion of the first Chilly Canada Cup Indoor soccer. Despite their very competitive edge and skilled set of players Amra Goal DC had to settle for the runners-up position this year.

The award ceremony started almost immediately. Enayetur Rahman – the legendary footballer of 80s from Bangladesh, who currently live in Toronto, was kind enough to appear as the special guest and hand over the trophies and medals among the winners. Many people had heard about him but never had the chance to meet him. This gave all of them an oportunity to know this legend of Bangladeshi soccer.

When the events wrapped up it was mid past nine in the evening. Everybody looked tired but equally jovial and spirited. What had started with simple enthusiasm and excitement over six hours ago ended in a complete satisfaction. This was an extraordinary example of sport bringing people together for friendship and racial harmony.

For more details visit www.royalbengalsclub.ca.

 

MPP Dolly Begum (Scarborough Southwest) opening the games

Team – Amra Goal DC

Team - Blue Panther

Team - Brookbanks FC

Team - Snow Leopards

 

Team - White Walkers

Legendary footballer Enayetur Rahman(R) with tournament official Sezan

Enayetur Rahman presenting captain of Amra Goal DC the runners-up cup

Runners-up - Amra Goal DC

Enayetur Rahman presenting the captain of Blue Panther the championship cup

 

Champion: Blue Panther

Enayetur Rahman presenting the best player trophy to Maulik (Blue Panther)

Best Goalie Kaji Sabbir Ahmed

 

Enayetur Rahman presenting the highest scorer trophy to Jerome (Amra Goal DC)

 

 

The champion team (Blue panther), runners-up team (Amra goal DC) with Enayetur Rahman, and tournament officials