Mr. Colaco is actively instrumental in running
Salcette Football Club, which has been a nursery of
football for many upcoming Goan footballers. Over
the years, he has pioneered Goa's voice to host
international matches and major national soccer
events at Fatorda Stadium thereby providing all
Goans an opportunity to watch some classic games.
The summer heat and humidity in Kuwait may
not be a
perfect climate for the amateur players to display
their full potential skills nor for a turnout of
colorful spectators for the KIFF League finals but
anyway it will all seem like a lovely antidote to
enjoy an evening in the open. Football among
expatriates in Kuwait fulfills its function to
divert ones mind from reality and all football
lovers fall for the con.
Football is the only sport which is innocent,
honest, and somehow democratic in an otherwise
sleazy world. It is the collective delusion about a
better world. The mythology of football here is that
it is an independent game, where the working man in
particular can be heard. Trouble is, real life isn't
like that. The myth of football here holds that the
spectators are the clubs and it's their collective
memory which remains constant as players, officials
and clubs come and go.
In todays world of Cable Television, it
is as if
there is a theological choice to be made, between
the doctrine of TV and the true path of actual
attendance. Expatriate Indians and specially Goans
miss watching their favorite teams Salgaocars,
Dempos and even their village teams in action and as
such most have found 'Live' telecast of European and
South American soccer on TV thrilling.
Nobody is in any doubt that evil satellite
television, making the games of brilliant teams such
as Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United
available to all, has corrupted the sensitive
spectator. Everybody seems to be a Luis
Figo, David Beckham or a Ronaldo fan but that has
not really taken away the excitement of enjoying the
Friday games in Kuwait.
The die hard supporters always throng the
Grounds and cheer the lads. People who have
witnessed some of the most exciting matches played
on Sour Ground in recent years do not believe in the
negative hype of television soccer. Everyone is
aware the games here are played for love and not
One may not certainly see huge crowds and
changing shirts with opposition teams after each
match as seen on TV but the euphoria created during
some games is nothing less than a 'World Cup' match.
It is so in football anywhere in the world. If
football weren't so exciting to watch, offering
unscripted drama, it wouldn't have its global
appeal. The finals of the XIth NYC Trophy in which
Navelim YC came from behind after trailing 1-3 to
beat GOA Maroons 4-3, was one such exciting game in
Kuwait this season which will be remembered for a
long time by those who witnessed it.
Like all major sport, soccer in Kuwait brings
together Indians of different cultures and societies
arousing the crowds through an electric
effervescence. Though there are clubs of Kerala,
Mangalore and Bombay, majority of the spectators
ofcourse are Goans and one can see most players
crossing their hearts as they run onto the ground.
Individuality in football is important,
obviously the team is more important than any one
individual which begs the question: "where we'd be
without some kind of a community, club, be the
family, friends down the line, or our fellow
supporters? We'd just be individuals and a bit
lonely and isolated."
Many communities and clubs in Kuwait have
numerous young youths and individuals to expose or
find their hidden talent and assisted them in
achieving better skills in football; and by virtue
of their soccer talent alone rather than their
education, promoted them in other fields to become
superior humans in society. In a different country
and in a competitive world, most youths find it hard
to attain great results without help and support
from a community. This might sound like politics,
but we wont be mistaken if we say there would be no
Maradona without Argentina and no Maldini without
Milan. Individuals should never be more important
than a community but unfortunately, with involvement
of some negative thoughts, success and glory are
sometimes personalized and exploited.
Other than shopping which more or less is
a kind of
a social event and a sport for most expatriates in
Kuwait, playing and watching football has become a
way of enjoying a weekend for many enthusiastic
Indians. Here are some interesting comments about
football on Sour Grounds in particular:
A die hard supporter: "What I like
about football on
Sour Grounds is the atmosphere at every game, you
can feel the vibe of the other supporters when your
team is winning, you can feel the anger from the
other spectators when your team is losing or if the
referee made a bad decision, its like all the
spectators are friends and get along together..."
A player: "I love football because
it's an art, can
drain out all of the emotions in a man week in and
A Goan spectator: "I love watching
football Live! Be
it here, Goa or anywhere. I love watching the
various ways of expressing pleasure and anger by
players and their supporters at the end of the match
and the different types of shouting."
A female supporter: "What I love most
football: My husband being completely, completely
absorbed while watching football. I love football
very much. I love the fact that there are always
celebrations when our team wins a match, and if we
lose, everybody feels depressed. We are like a big
family when it comes to football."
Football activities in Kuwait were started
expatriate community way back in 1975. As years went
by, these activities gained momentum and slowly
flourished as more sports clubs were formed and this
sport became very popular among the large expatriate
The Kuwait Indian Football Federation (K.I.F.F.)
established in 1984 controls all Expatriates Indians
Football activities in Kuwait. Apart from the
League, Four(4) Regular; Five(5) 7-A-Side and One(1)
9-A-Side Non-Regular Tournaments are organized by
clubs affiliated to KIFF. The J.P. Memorial Rolling
Trophy - KIFF League is named after late Jerome
Pascoal DMello (popularly known in India and Kuwait
as J.P). Ex-FIFA referee and Member of Asian
Football Confederation Referees Committee and
Ex-Hon. Secretary and Member of Bombay Referees'
Association, DMello who lived in Andheri East,
Bombay, left for his heavenly abode in 1994. He was
the prime architect in conceiving the idea of
The KIFF League of 2002-03
which commenced in September last includes 14 teams.
The teams are divided into two groups of 7 each for
a round robin League. The top team from each group
is then drawn to play the semifinals against the
second best in the other group and vice versa. The
matches are played every Friday. Goa Maroons and
Navelim Youth Centre have won the League a maximum
of three times each since the inception of the J.P.
Memorial Rolling Trophy in 1995-96.
In the semifinals of the League at Sour Grounds
played in soaring temperatures of near 45°C,
defending Champions Navelim Youth Centre shattered
AVCs (Assolna Velim Cuncolim) dream of a maiden
League final appearance with a golden goal victory.
The match winner for Navelim was scored by young
schemer Duarte Pires with a powerful right footer
from just outside the penalty area. In the other
action packed neck and neck battle, last years
runners-up Goan Overseas Association (GOA) Maroons
went down fighting to a determined United Friends
Club 1-0. The all important goal was scored by
versatile player Sidney Rodrigues in the last
quarter of the second half.
United Friends Club (UFC) with Sidney Rodrigues and
Oliver DSilva among the best players of the 2002-03
League are geared up to take on their opponents.
Oliver and Sidney would be orchestrating the
midfield. Russel Rodrigues, Manuel (Babit), Aurelio
DSouza and Agnelo (Mama) are other prominent
midfield players. Jose Rod and Ejaz Ahmed will be
the strike force but the success of UFC depends much
on the guidance of their veterans - Sarto Baptista
and Mario Lobo.
Navelim Youth Centre (NYC) undoubtedly the best team
this season, have a cream of skillful footballers.
Top scorer for the past 5 seasons Cruz Rodrigues is
in tremendous form and has again proved a thorn in
the opponents defence. Ignatius Miranda is the other
striker in the team. The midfield is controlled by
captain Gasper Crasto ably supported by the tireless
Ivo Rodrigues, Duarte Pires and Americo Fernandes.
Barring a lethargic Britto Pereira in the goal who
has been a suspect and a bundle of nerves this
season, the team has one of the best eleven. The
defence comprises of Kennedy Ferrao, one of the best
ball players seen on Sour grounds, Vincy Pereira,
Christi, Alfred Pires and Salvador DSouza. They also
have a pawn of experience in Cajetan Godinho who
incidentally completes 25 years as a player in
Kuwait. Stand-in goalkeeper Avelino Dias is another
accomplished crusader in the team.
GOA Maroons and AVC play a third place play-off
prior to the finals. Navelim Youth Centre are
already the Season Champions having won major
trophies this season. A Fair Play Trophy and a Top
Scorer of the season will also be awarded according
to an official note by KIFF President Mr. V.K.
Vohra. All the League matches are officiated by the
Kuwait India Football Federations Referees.