A nine-member team, Rajhans FC is hoping to be back into the title race at this year’s Hindustan Times Great Indian Football Action (HT GIFA) tournament through a wild card entry.
HT GIFA tournament is the most awaited and the biggest inter-locality football tournament in Delhi-NCR with over 30 teams from Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad. In the pre-qualifier match held on August 20, Rajhans FC, which represents Rajhans Kutumb apartments in Ahinsa Khand-1, Indirapuram, lost 1-0.
However, with an option of getting back in the race through online voting, the team is optimistic of garnering the votes to get a wild card entry to the tournament.
“We were quite dejected to lose the pre-qualifier. However, when we learnt that there is still an opportunity to get back in the race, we lifted our spirits and started appealing all to vote for us,” Aryan Khanna, the team captain, said.
“We were among the top 16 teams in last year’s HT GIFA tournament and are positive of making it through the wild card entry. We have been practising for a year for the tournament,” Kartik Negi, a team member, said.
People can vote for their favourite teams in the tournament online by logging on to www.htgifa.hindustantimes.com/voting/ . The voting closes on September 10.
The under-14 team is leaving no stone unturned to appeal a large number of people to vote for them.
“We have put up posters all over our society, appealing residents to vote for us. We are also spreading the word through social media,” Mohammad Shahid, team manager, said.
Anil Malhotra, father of a player, said, “I can see a sea of change among the children in the team as HT GIFA has given them a wide exposure. Moreover, it is good that Hindustan Times is encouraging football, which is not given much preference in the country.”