Doha 07 Jan. 2018 (Gulf Times)
Indian Sports Centre (ISC) is going to be one of the main organisers alongside Qatar Football Association (QFA) for the Asian Community Football Tournament (ACFT) starting on January 12, with inaugural match played between India and Jordan.
This was announced by representatives of the ISC in a press conference held at Indian Coffee House yesterday morning. The representatives informed the media persons about performance of the Centre since its establishment 11 months ago and its future projects in promoting sport events in Qatar.
Addressing the media persons, ISC President Nilangshu Dey said, “The ISC is representing India in the sixth ACFT being organised by the QFA. The tournament will start from January 12 onwards. There are 12 twelve teams taking part in the tournament.
The teams are Jordan, India, the Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Korea in group A and in group B Singapore, Japan, Lebanon, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Nepal.”
Dey said, “The QFA has given first match to India as the Indians are the single largest community in Qatar. The Indian football team will play against defending champions Jordan at Al Gharafa Stadium on January 12. The match will begin at 7.50pm and gates will be opened at 7pm. The entry to the stadium is allowed from gate no 4 and 6.
Prior to the match, the inauguration ceremony of the ACFT will bring all 12 teams together. A bazaar is also being organised in the stadium having food and other stalls to attract families and other spectators.
We are expecting a large number of people from Indian community to attend the inauguration ceremony and watch India’s match.”
The ISC president further said, “It is for the first time that India’s team for the ACFT has been selected through open trials in which 75 players participated. We advertised both in news and on social media asking players to attend the trials for finalising the team. We have selected 25 footballers from the Indian expatriate community to form the team that will take part both in the ACFT and in the Qatar Community Football League.”
Dey further said, “The ISC has taken more initiatives in promoting football among the community in line with Qatar’s vision and supported Qatar Football Associations and Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy in in their various national and international endeavours during the last one year.
On behalf of the Indian community, the ISC has signed an MoU on June 12, 2017 with the Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy for supporting their various endeavours relating to the FIFA 2022. Accordingly, the ISC has supported FIFA 2018 qualifiers by participating in the fan zones.”
He further said that the ISC is also a partner for the upcoming Inter-Community Beach Volleyball Festival. Teams from 15 different communities in Qatar are going to take part in the first tournament of its kind. He said that the ISC, since its establishment last February, has already organised different sporting events among different communities and within the Indian community.
Dey said that the ISC, under supervision of the Indian embassy, has been promoting different sports such as table tennis, swimming, yoga, and golf besides football and volleyball. He said that the centre is also focusing on cricketing events with both hard and soft balls.
He said that the ISC has been promoting different sports within Indian community at three different levels. The first level focuses on Indian schools. He said that there are 14 Indian schools in Qatar with over 4,000 students from different nationalities. ISC organises inter-school competitions for them.
Secondly, there are about 100 Indian community-based organisations and the ISC has also been supporting different events between the organisations.
Thirdly, there are 15 companies in Qatar managed by Indians. The ISC has also been encouraging sporting events among the companies.
Speaking on the occasion, M S Bukhari, chairman, corporate and business development ISC, said, “The ISC has been doing very good since its establishment. The reason behind its success is the support provided by the Embassy of India in Qatar.
There are four pillars that have made it easier for the ISC to flourish. The first pillar is Government of Qatar, second is the ISC team, third is the Indian community and other communities, and the fourth is media. Qatar is our host country and we as the largest community need to support the country in improving its image as a sport-loving country,’ Bukhari said.