India Khelo Tournament: Ambitious ‘B’ emerge champions of Mumbai Leg!

The India Khelo Tournament was inaugurated yesterday in Mulund where Ambitious Football Academy emerged as the champions of the Mumbai Leg.

Growing up in space-constrained Mumbai, wanting to play football in the late ’90s was a task. With improper infrastructure, space and expertise, there was no ecosystem to learn and engage with the beautiful game. The founders and initiators of the India Khelo Tournament could sense the demand and the lack of supply. India Khelo Tournament was thus launched with the motive to train youngsters and make them play free of cost.

To take their idea of engaging footballers to masses, the India Khelo Tournament partnered with Elite Football Schools and other academies. They finally launched their Non-profit Organization. The initiative is spread across the state of Maharashtra in 8 districts, with the ultimate goal to reach pan India. Currently, the tournament has kicked off in February and is scheduled to continue till August on each weekend.

Mumbai, Kolhapur, Pune, Nagpur, Gondia, Nashik, Thane, and Palghar are the 8 selected districts where India Khelo Tournament will be conducted over 6 months. Each district will have their intradistrict tournament, following which the winners of each district will play an inter-district tournament. The winners of the inter-district tournament will be provided with amenities such as food, stay, and training by IKT members. The India Khelo Tournament is also in talks with certain European teams for exposure trips for the selected players.

Yesterday the India Khelo Tournament kicked off with their Mumbai leg, where a total of 16 teams took part. Holy Child, FC Mithagar Tigers, Billabong, Jaggu FA, Avengers, Ambitious, Elite Soccer Academy, FC Mithagar Lions, Centre of Sporting Excellence put in multiple teams to battle it out on the first round. FC Mithagar, Billabong, Avengers A, Ambitious A, Elite Soccer Academy B, Elite Soccer Academy A, Elite Football School, and Ambitious B qualified to the Quarter Finals. In the Quarter-Final round, FC Mithagar Tigers edged past against Avengers A. Ambitious A got the better of Billabong, and qualified to the Semis alongside Elite Soccer Academy B and Ambitious B.

Ambitious Football Academy’s team A and B overcame a stiff Semi-Final challenge against Elite Soccer Academy B and FC Mithagar Tigers to qualify for the finals. In a friendly yet a very competitive final, Ambitious B defeated Ambitious A by a scoreline of 5-4 to emerge as the winners of the India Khelo Tournament Mumbai Leg.

Om Shirwalkar of FC Mithaghar Tigers was adjudged as the Best Player of the Tournament and Ambitious FA’s Zulfikar Sayed bagged the Top Scorer award. Krish Rupwate of Ambitious A received the Best Goalkeeper award.

The next Mumbai leg is scheduled to take place in Ghatkopar on the next weekend (16th February 2020).


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