Everyone across the globe got their share of the World Cup pie during this one-month long carnival. Delhi wasn’t left out, either. The 25-year-old Delhi Diplomatic Soccer League, which concluded recently, not only gave the city’s soccer lovers a chance to kick around the Jabulani, but a near-World Cup feel as well.
“With 32 teams here too, it feels like a smaller version of World Cup here in Delhi,” says Ashish Khanna, one of the prime forces behind this annual event. The tournament has diplomats, expats, corporate honchos, ex-students and even colony teams playing just for the love of the game. “It takes us back to our good ol’ school days, fun yet competitive,” says Damyant Singh, who has been playing at the event for the last 10 years now.
The atmosphere, too, is electrifying, as 6-a side teams battle it out for 40-minutes under floodlights. “This year the excitement was even more because of the World Cup,” says Ashok Damodaran, a senior journalist who has been a part of the tournament since its inception.
The crowd support, too, is in large numbers as it is not everyday in Delhi that you get to clink beer bottles over some great games — something many feel is an important part of the game.