District Sports Office announces winner via penalty shootout
With more than 80 teams participating, DSO officials complete proceedings in a single day by determining winners only on penalty shootouts
At a time when Indian football is making significant progress at the international level, thanks to some decent showing, at the grassroot level though, the state of the sport remains in shambles.
With just one day in hand to select the top 12 teams from Andheri and Borivli talukas that will play in the U-17 District Sports Office (DSO) Mumbai Suburb Division tournament to be held today and tomorrow, the officials decided to wrap up the competition in just one day in which 80-plus teams participated.
With no time to play full games, the DSO officials decided the winner via penalty shootout.
St Francis D'Assisi ground in Borivli hosted some games, while other matches were held at Sports Authority of India ground in Kandivli.
Thakur Jr College fume
Yatish Shetty, coach of Thakur Jr College that won the U-17 DSO Subroto Cup, blasted the organisers for holding the tournament in a haphazard manner. "It is absolutely shocking. A lot of players did not even get an opportunity to touch the ball, but their team was declared winners [via a tie-breaker].
"DSO has made a joke out of it. We [coaches and players] put in months of hard work for this tournament, but DSO finish the tournament in just a single day," fumed Shetty after Thakur Jr College played three tie-breakers yesterday, winning two and losing the third to St Lawrence School, Kandivli.
An official from St Andrew's Jr College, Bandra, said penalty shootout is all about the luck factor. "It was disgusting to see two penalty shootouts being conducted on either side of the goalpost at the same time.
"What future of football are we talking about? Our kids cried after not getting to play a match and were knocked out of the tournament," he said.
DSO official Sanjog Dhole blamed incessant rain in the city for being unable to organise the matches. "I was helpless in this situation. We had three times more participation in the suburb region as compared to Mumbai City.
DSO on the defensive
"We started our tournament in August end and I was sure to finish the Division tournament by September third week, so that we could have the final team play in the state tournament in Kolhapur [October 5]. Heavy rains disrupted our schedule and grounds were also not available," said Dhole.
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