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The A to Z of Hindustan Times Great Indian Football Action

As the opening ceremony of the biggest neighbourhood football tournament — SARE Homes HT GIFA — gets underway, here’s a glossary of all you need to know about the sporting extravaganza.

ht gifa Updated: Sep 16, 2017 16:36 IST
Ronaldo,Messi,HT GIFA
A still from last year’s HT GIFA closing ceremony.

ACTION PACKED!

The stage is set! Witness the grand opening at Thyagaraj Stadium and follow all the epic footballing action with the league matches that follow.

BIGGER, BETTER, GRANDER

Three words that define just what you can expect from HT GIFA this year! With the strongest participation, intense rivalry, sportsmanship and great scores, there is a lot you can witness at HT GIFA.

CUP OF DREAMS

The one and only goal (pun intended) for all the star teams battling it out for the top spot. Score goals, win hearts and take the cup of dreams home.

DELHI-NCR

Be it Delhi, Gurgaon or Noida, HT GIFA Season 4 will be a pack of the best footballing talent from numerous societies and colonies across Delhi NCR.

ENGAGED!

HT GIFA isn’t just about the action on the field. Engage in all the live updates, voting, content and exciting contests on out portal http://www.htgifa.hindustantimes.com/

FOOTBALL CULTURE

Connecting players who share a common love for the game, HT GIFA is not just a competition. The tournament allows young football enthusiasts from class 5 to 8 in the Junior Category and 9 to 12 in the Senior Category to showcase their skills and talent.

GIFU

The cute football-faced mascot for GIFA is loved by all. Kids and adults alike don’t miss out on any chance to meet and get a photograph clicked with him.

HT GIFA

The biggest neighbourhood tournament that has sparked a football revolution in the Capital. SARE HOMES HT GIFA is set to bring a ton of extreme action, inspiring moments and the epic journey to become champions.

INDIA ON TRACK

A game changer in the Indian football space, and La Liga’s Official Agency for India — India on Track — is set to make 2017 a landmark year in Indian Football with HT GIFA.

JOIN THE FUN!

So what if you’re not a part of the on-field action? The real stars can even be found on the sidelines. Vote for your favourite teams, support them on the portal and cheer as they dribble their way to the finals.

KHILADI

That’s the word synonymous with actor Akshay Kumar, who will not only be present at the opening ceremony, but will also help promote quality football in the country. Catch him live in action on September 16.

LA LIGA

If you thought that you’ve seen intense action in the past seasons of HT GIFA, expect some more. Partnered with Primera División aka La Liga (Spanish football league), HT GIFA is all set to raise the bar of sporting action in Delhi-NCR.

MOST VALUED PLAYER

The golden boot award is given to the most valued player of the tournament. Gladdy Rosario (Senior) and Rahul Dhand (Junior) won the award last year, and a few promising contenders have emerged this season, too.

NEIGHBOURHOOD RIVALRY

HT GIFA takes the rivalry from the colony parks to a stage where footballers can showcase their talent. Whether you’re from Gurgaon, Noida, Dwarka or Vasant Kunj — everyone has a shot at the Cup of Dreams in this neighbourhood tournament.

OPENING CEREMONY

If you’ve witnessed the opening ceremonies for previous seasons of HT GIFA, be ready to experience an opening ceremony like no other in season 4. With live performances and actor Akshay Kumar’s presence in the mix, there is a lot that can happen over football on September 16 at Thyagaraj Stadium.

PARENTS, FRIENDS AND TEAMMATES

Parents and friends cheer for their favourite team at SARE Homes HT GIFA.

It isn’t just the players scoring big this time at HT GIFA. Parents, friends and even people from the localities have come together to cheer and support their teams.

QUEENS OF FOOTBALL

A women’s team from SARE Homes HT GIFA before a match.

It’s not only the hunks tackling on the field, but sporting divas battled it out on the ground, too. Over 18 all-girl teams including 14 Senior and 4 Junior teams participated in the pre-qualifier matches this year.

RONALDO, MESSI AND MORE

Football legends Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Players at GIFA, who idolise football legends such as Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar, are seen recreating famous tricks and celebrating in the fashion of their favourite players, during the matches.

SARE HOMES

SARE Homes — the title sponsor of HT GIFA — has been sponsoring the tournament for the third year in a row. Vineet Relia, managing director SARE Homes, feels the tournament offers a perfect platform for young football enthusiasts to showcase their talent and groom them as per international standards.

TRAINING @ GIFA

Training sessions were conducted by coaches from India on Track, La Liga’s official agency in India, before every match, who shared important tips and strategies with players.

UNDERDOGS

Many teams lost in the pre-qualifier matches. Some of those teams, such as, Superstrikers MV3 and Noida Ninjas gathered more than 10,000 votes each to ensure their spot in the wild card entries.

VOTING FOR WILD CARD ENTRIES

With a record breaking 1.6 lakh votes this year, the wild card entry format, introduced in the last season, remains a big hit among teams who couldn’t make it in the pre-qualifiers.

WORLDIES

Commonly associated with world class goals, worldies are a common sight at the GIFA matches. Over 855 goals have already been scored by teams at the pre-qualifiers with more to come at the league matches.

X-TREME FOOTBALLING ACTION

Shoots, tackles and goals, matches at GIFA are full of nail-biting football action. Over 632 teams participated in the pre-qualifiers this year and some intense matches were seen.

YOUTUBE, SNAPCHAT, INSTAGRAM AND MORE

The social media presence of GIFA has exceptionally grown over the years through platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube as players upload their pictures, videos and try to gather votes for their teams.

ZONAL MARKING

Different strategies, like zonal markings — a defending technique where players instead of marking another player, mark a specific zone of the field especially for defending set pieces — are used by the teams to ensure their win.

Follow @httweets for more.

First Published: Sep 16, 2017 16:35 IST