Madrid FC defeated Eagles FC 3-0 to take the 2012 trophy

The Cyprus International University bi-annual 6-a-side football tournament finalists reached its climax this week with a hotly contested clash between defending champions Eagles FC and rising stars Madrid FC. After much anticipation, Madrid FC dominated the game and were victorious by a three goals to nil.

The final proved to be highly competitive, with both teams unwilling to give any room to the other, but in the end Madrid FC prevailed over Eagles FC to win the championship, the first place medals and the trophy. In the process they also took settled as score with Eagles FC, who had defeated them in the group stages in last semester’s tournament.

The CIU student’s football tournament was structured like a cup tournament, with teams initially competing in a group stage, with three teams in four groups, followed by quarter- final, semi-final and final matches. The teams were made up from students of many different nationalities, including Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Turkey, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Turkmenistan.

Bala Etorti, President of the African students association, played for Eagles FC and was one of the several students who worked with the university to make the tournament possible. Etorti described the mission of the tournament as “bringing unity among students from various countries, including the Turkish students.”

He noted that whereas the previous tournament featured international students but no Turkish players, the situation had improved this time round. “We were very happy to find two Turkish teams among the participating teams in the tournament”, he said, “so it was like the entire university was participated in this tournament. During the organization process we had a lot of obstacles but in the end with God’s help we succeeded in making this event a success.”

Discussing his personal involvement as a player, Etori added, “Last year my team Eagles FC got the gold medal. This time around we reached the final, but unfortunately we could not retain the trophy. This is not a problem: it is not about winning all the time, and congratulations to Madrid FC for playing very well and winning the tournament.”

Mustapha Hafeez, captain of Madrid FC praised the tournament organizers, saying “it is a good thing to bring players together for it is good because it is good for the future. I think it was perfect and a good thing but it just needs more support.”He added, “I believe my team we are the best team in the tournament, you saw us win and it was great.”

Opposing captain and co-organiser Tomi Akinyede congratulated Madrid FC, saying, “they played well and deserved it. I thought we played well at the start of the competition, going into the knockout stages we played OK, pretty decent. We came back sometimes and got lucky with a win, but I thought we didn’t play as we usually played. They wanted to win more than we did and the better team won in the end”.

Concerning the organisation of the tournament, Akinyede added, “the tournament was good, well planned and well organized. It wasn’t easy to organize and it was not easy to go out there to stand in the cold, but it was worth it because everyone enjoyed it. A big thank you to everyone who played and . Overall the competition was a success and there will be another one definitely next semester.”

STORY BY MANSOOR KHALILI | PHOTOS BY FATİH CERAN