SARE Homes HT GIFA: Your votes can change your football team’s fortunes
Fair & Square: Wild card entry gives second chance to losing teams to re-enter SARE Homes HT Great Indian Football Action tournament by accumulating maximum votesht gifa Updated: Aug 24, 2017 19:05 IST
Though the two-week pre- qualifiers of SARE Homes HT Great Indian Football Action, the biggest inter-locality tournament of Delhi-NCR has wrapped up with over 316 teams qualifying for the league, the GIFA fever doesn’t seem to die down. The excitement remains as the voting rounds underway.
Introduced last season, the wild card entry gives a second chance to losing teams to accumulate maximum votes and re-enter the tournament.
A total of 632 teams battled it out at the pre-qualifiers held at Ansal University, Gurugram and CWG Sports Complex, Akshardham. The teams that lost out have buckled up and have started gathering as many votes as they can. From going door to door, to rampant use of all social media platforms, teams are going to great lengths.
The voting commenced on August 21. Junior team DPS warriors from Gurugram and senior team Superstriker MV3 from Mayur Vihar, Delhi, are locked in an intense battle for the top spot on the voting leader board. Both teams crossed 800 votes in four days!
Wild card for a cause
Wild card is common in other international sporting disciplines where the slot is granted by the respective sport federations. In Wimbledon as well wild cards are usually offered on the basis of past performance or to increase British interest.
Croatia’s Goran Ivanisevic remains the only wild card to win the Wimbledon men’s singles title when he won in 2001. North Korean judoka Kye Sun-Hui won gold at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta in the women’s 48kg as a wild card when she was just 17.
“There are teams who have been practising for months in anticipation of the tournament and some which were put together in the last minute. So just one match doesn’t give the teams a chance to fully showcase their skills and talent. I’m pretty confident that we’ll be able to gather the required number of votes,” said, Dhruv Makker, a participant from the team LIT AF from Gurugram.
Karan Sharma, a resident of Dwarka said: “My neighbours came to my house to ask for my vote. The kids were visibly disappointed after their loss but I told them not to lose hope. They are circulating requests for votes on Whatsapp groups and other social media channels as well. I’m sure they’ll get through to the league stages.”
How to vote
To vote for your favourite team, log on to www.htgifa.hindustantimes.com and search for your team. You can vote using a valid email id or your Facebook account. The voting will conclude on the 31st of August, so get on voting.
How to vote for your team?
Log on to htgifa.hindustantimes.com
Click on voting link in the main tab
Log in using a valid email id or Facebook account
Search the team name or player name you want to vote for
Click on Vote and leave a comment
You can vote once every 24 hours
In a nutshell
No. of registered teams – 2500
No. of teams in pre-qualifiers – 632
No. of goals scored – 855
No. of teams qualified for league matches - 316
Delhi – 174
Gurgaon – 73
Noida/Ghaziabad - 69
Total no. of votes received – 10,580
*Data as of 24th August
Shagun Bhadana, a resident of Rohini
“From carrying out small rallies to asking neighbours, friends, family and everyone from our locality, I’m helping out the team from my locality anyway I can to gather votes. Seeing such immense passion for football in these young players, I want them to win this tournament”
Dhruv Makker, a player from LIT AF of Sushant Lok, Gurgaon
“The wild card entry introduced by HT GIFA is a great initiative that gives a second chance to teams who are passionate about the sport. I and my teammates have gone door to door, bugged friends on social media and even had an announcement made at our school to get people to vote for us.”
Netarpal Adhana, parent from Vatika City, Gurgaon
“This is a good initiative by HT which gives a second chance to teams who have lost to still be a part of the tournament. The team is active on all social media platforms and is also asking for votes in their respective schools and localities.”