Hyderabad : Pudami Karvy and Karwan Govt School emerged as Champions at the 2nd Edition of School Football League(SFL) Girls final. In a day-long battle for the title held on Sunday till late evening at Birla Open Minds School in Kollur, both Government School teams emerged victoriously and clinched titles. They danced in Jubilation to celebrate their success.
Aga Khan Academy and Future Kids bagged Premier Cup under 13 and 15 years category. Both these winning teams defeated Rockwell Intl School teams in their respective categories to lift the Premier Cup. Aga Khan won the title with Penalty shoot out score 2-1 and Future Kids, 4-3(penalty shoot out) score.
Pudami Government and Aga Khan Academy-2 clinched Players Shield in under 13 and 15 years age categories. Open Minds gave a tough fight, but lost in both the categories. Under age 13, they lost to Pudami by 3-1 in a penalty shoot out. In under 15years age category, Aga Khan scored 2 goals to defeat their rival Open Minds.
Under 13years category, Venya of Open Minds; Muskan of Pudami Government School; Jahnavi of Pudami Karvy; Akshaya of Future Kids School; Yashna of Rockwell Intl School and Shifa of Aga Khan Academy have been adjudged and honored with Star Players of each of the team title.
In under 15 years age category, Inika of Open Minds; Yana of Future Kids School; Sanvi of Rockwell; Mehak of Aga Khan-1; Afreen of Aga Khan 2 and Pavani of Karwan Government Schools were adjudged as the Star Players of their respective teams.
Under 15 years age category, Imsha of Aga Khan stood as the Player of the Tournament; Shalini of Karwan, Top Scorer and Reha of Future Kids presented Golden Glove.
It was an eleven side football game. This format, according to organizers, tested players to their limits on the physical, mental and tactical aspects of the game. With each half 30 minutes, it was an hour game.
Varuni Jaiswal, Junior International Table Tennis Champion was the chief guest and gave away the prizes. Addressing the gathering she described it as a very unique event. Football is a rough game. You can get hurt easily and frequently. It is admirable to see these determined young girls playing like boys. Girls must play sports. This society is difficult for girls. They face a lot of adversities. Girls have to struggle much harder than boys to prove themselves. You must have guts to face failures. Then only you will emerge as Champion, VarunI Jaiswal told 150plus young girl footballers. What was so surprising about School Football Leagues was bringing Government and Private School Girls on the same level and made to compete with each other, she added.
“Young girls played matches all through the day defying rain. Neither rain nor cold weather could stop them from playing their matches. It shows their determination”, commented Ananth Tejo—Director of Hyderabad Football Academy. Hyderabad Football Academy and Kerala Blasters FC are co-presented the SFL
Each of these teams had played five to six matches in the league level over the last two months to reach the final. The top two teams competed for Champion’s Trophy, next two for Premier Cup and subsequent two for Player’s Shield informed Himanshu Charan Director of School Football League.
SFL is designed so well keeping in mind a comprehensive match experience for the players. Girls’ matches are held only in two categories, under 13, 15years, boys additionally has under 18years category. On the whole, 50 School Teams, both boys and girls competed in this long journey added Ananth Tejo.
SFL is, Ananth Tejo adds is one of its kind tournament. A dedicated league that too for Football, which is considered as a poor man’s sport and above all in league format is hard to find.
Speaking about girls and football, Ananth Tejo says Boys football is common. But, Girls Football is not so common. Surprisingly there’s a rising number of girls playing football and schools are also encouraging them. More girls are playing high school football in twin cities these days. More so, the government school girls are also taking active participation and giving a tough fight to the private and international schools. SFL is a good indication for this growing trend that girls too can play football. Being a contact sport, it is tough but a wonderful character and confidence building opportunity for our girls.
There are more opportunities now than ever before for girls to get involved with the football game at school level informs, Atif Hyder.
“The city was once the hot-bed for football. 8 players out of the Indian Football team that defeated Australia on December 01, 1956 in the quarterfinals of the Olympics in Melbourne were from Hyderabad. Over the years, the city has produced 14 Olympians and 21 International footballers. The Hyderabad Police Football team was one of the most respected teams by fans and rivals alike. Such was the dominance of Hyderabad on the sport both at national and international football scene. What happened to those days? Who knows that past glory of this great city? It is time to bring our glory back! Says, Himanshu Charan.
SFL was born to provide a high-quality competitive tournament experience to young players. The idea is to build and engage communities through Football and reignite the passion for football to put Hyderabad back on the national map. It is also our endeavor to nurture a generation of players and fans who will carry India into FIFA WC 2026, added Himanshu.
The boys’ semi-finals and finals are scheduled for 9th & 10th February at Sreenidhi International School in Aziz Nagar.