The FIFA World Cup is a global sensation. The Qatar edition happens to be the most expensive one yet – financially and morally.

Eight years ago, in June 2014, a phenomenon was taking the planet by storm. The FIFA World Cup was taking place in Brazil – the home of flair, samba and carnival. Like any other 10 year old, I found myself glued to the TV to figure out what all the fuss was about. The aforementioned TV was broadcasting a match between Spain and the Netherlands. Well, the little boy version of me knew Spain was supposedly a big deal that had won the last World Cup and that one of the players in the Dutch team played for Manchester United and wore my birthday number. All I knew was that his shirt said “v. Persie” with the number 20 and it was enough to change my allegiance. And then, he shocked the world (and little me) by scoring one of the most outrageous goals in the history of the sport.

That was the day, dear reader, that this boy found a new thing to obsess over for almost an entire decade. I wasn’t alone either, football or “the beautiful game” is the most widespread sport on the planet. For context, there are 195 nations on Earth, with 193 being member nations of the United Nations. FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) has 211 recognised national football associations – 192 of which are fully recognised independent nations.

The FIFA World Cup is the culmination of this obsession with kicking a ball into a net and it takes place every four years. It is a celebration of the sport and a month-long tournament that invites the 32 best footballing nations across the globe to represent their national teams and take home the golden trophy. This week, on the 20th of November, 2022 the 22nd edition of the competition was kickstarted in Qatar.

In 2014, the World Cup was played in Brazil – the home of the record five time champions. Since then, it has been played in Russia in 2018 and now, in Qatar in 2022 and both these editions of the legendary competition have seen allegations of corruption and general backlash. Qatar, though, has been especially ensnared by a web of scandals surrounding the entire tournament.

The first scandal took place way back in 2010, when FIFA was deciding where to host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups amongst the nations that had bid for the opportunity. Two months before the organisation was supposed to announce the winner, it had to suspend 2 of its 24 member executive committee – that was in charge of selecting the host nation – due to them being accused of offering to sell their votes. The two men would later receive temporary bans from FIFA. Four years later, leaked emails implied that Qatari football official and former FIFA executive committee member, Mohammed bin Hammam had allegedly bribed FIFA officials to ensure the success of Qatar’s bid. At the time, he had already received a lifetime ban from FIFA in 2011 for unrelated corruption charges. There were subsequent investigations by both: the US Department of Justice and the Swiss authorities into FIFA’s alleged corruption. Over the next few years, several FIFA officials were convicted of corruption charges and were arrested, banned from football or forced to go on the run. The most prominent of these was then FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, resigning shortly after winning a reelection campaign to his fifth consecutive term. In April 2020, the Department of Justice released new evidence that again implied that three FIFA officials had received bribes from unnamed intermediaries to vote for Qatar. However, while almost all of the then FIFA executives were arrested, fined or banned in police raids and prosecutions, neither the US Department of Justice nor the Swiss authorities could ever connect the other end of the bribery string to Qatar.

Fair or not, Qatar had won its bid in 2010 and that meant preparing to welcome the best players of the world in 2022. One problem, though: the small Middle-Eastern nation wasn’t equipped to play a tournament as big as the World Cup yet – and that meant investing. And invest it did – the Qatar World Cup is the most expensive World Cup in history. The country had the cash for it and thus went on to spend 220 billion USD in building seven stadiums, a new airport, a series of roads, metro system and about 100 new hotels. An entire city was built around the stadium that will host the final match. Qatar’s government says that over 30,000 migrant workers from countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and more were hired to build the infrastructure for the event. In 2021, The Guardian reported that, according to numbers provided by the aforementioned countries’ embassies, over 6,500 migrant workers had died working on the event since Qatar had won its bid in 2010.

Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers is not new. It is a result of poor labour laws and the kafala system (a sponsorship system where workers are tethered to their sponsors in legally binding contracts). In 2016, a non profit organisation, Amnesty International, accused Qatar of using forced labour by withholding wages and passports. Migrant workers told Amnesty International that they received verbal abuses and threats when they complained about not being paid for several months. Nepali workers were not even allowed to return home after the 2015 Nepal earthquakes. Amnesty further accused FIFA of failing to stop the stadium being built on “human rights abuses”. Qatar did go on to implement reforms such as implementing a monthly minimum wage and reforming the kafala system. However, these reforms have still been described as too little too late by human rights organisations across the globe. 6,500 people had still needlessly died in the 11 years before, the new minimum wage was still too less for Qatar’s high living costs and abuses were still taking place albeit to a lesser degree. These abuses have seen backlash from other football associations as well, especially the US, England and the Netherlands. Various professional footballers have regularly talked about the long list of allegations against the country. England and the Dutch national team have even invited migrant workers to train with the squad in a show of support. While Qatar has definitely taken steps to address the situation, one must wonder if a country that needs global backlash to start changing its abusive ways is a good candidate to host an event that is supposed to bring the world together.

I think for what we Europeans have been doing for 3,000 years around the world, we should be apologising for the next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons to people.”- Gianni Infantino, FIFA President defending Qatar

With a history of human rights abuses, it was not long before the world would show up at Qatar’s door accusing them of sportswashing. “Sportswashing” is a term coined by human rights activists in the 2010s to describe regimes with a reputation of oppression and cruelty using sporting events to clear up their reputation. In recent years, there have been many accusations of sportswashing made in the football world. The previous World Cup held in Russia was accused of it, and so was the Russian oligarch and one of Vladimir Putin’s trusted advisors, Roman Abramovich. Abramovich was the former owner of Chelsea Football Club and his regular millions of dollars of investments into the club brought it much success over the past decade. In Abramovich’s case, it worked: after Russia invaded Ukraine, the British government forced Abramovich to sell the club due to his involvement as a close advisor of Putin. During the momentary applause before Premier League games in solidarity with Ukraine that was conducted at the time, Chelsea fans sang Abramovich’s name as a show of support – completely disregarding his involvement with the aggressors of Ukraine. We are yet to see if Qatar’s alleged sportswashing attempts have worked – although some experts fear it might have but for a reason far removed from actual football.

The unfortunate reality of this “beautiful game” is that football fans can be incredibly bigoted. Sexism exists as keyboard warriors do their best to undermine women’s football at every turn, mocking demands of fair pay. Racism has only seen a real decline in recent years but still rears its heads whenever a person of colour cannot perform on the pitch. Homophobia is rampant – to the point where there is exactly one footballer who belongs to the LGBTQ community and is heading to the FIFA World Cup (Josh Cavallo for Australia). This unfortunate characteristic has made fans support Qatar’s anti LGBTQ stance while disguising these archaic and dystopian beliefs as “respecting their culture” and accusing the west of “shoving woke propaganda down everyone’s throats”. Qatar happens to have a history of curtailing the rights of the LGBTQ community and women. The country has draconian laws that criminalise sexual intercourse between individuals of the same sex and forces transgender people to undergo conversion therapy. Qatari members of the LGBTQ community have reported being intimidated and harassed by the police regularly. An environment like this has made many fans from the community reluctant to attend the World Cup for fear of punishment by Qatari authorities simply for their identities. In 2010, when asked about Qatar’s inclusion of the LGBTQ community, Sepp Blatter had told the community that they “should refrain from any sexual activities.” While FIFA then issued an apology at the time, and has recently assured fans they would not be prosecuted for such a situation, the atmosphere is still too hostile to risk for most people.

This situation has also seen backlash from various footballing nations. Eight European nations had announced that they would be wearing “One Love” armbands in support of the LGBTQ community. FIFA, however, warned the teams that should they go along with the plan, they would immediately be cautioned with yellow cards when the game kicks off. This has forced the countries to step down from their decision but not without criticising FIFA’s decisions. Fans have allegedly been targeted when wearing rainbow flags or hats in the stadiums. A US reporter was allegedly denied entry by security due to him wearing a rainbow shirt. The President of FIFA, Gianni Infantino has repeatedly defended Qatar in various statements and has also insisted that the country’s leadership welcomed people with open arms regardless of their sexuality, sex or race. Yet, the experiences of the fans in the actual stadiums beg to differ.

Seeing you have banned all teams to wear the One Love armband to actively support LGBTQ+ at the World Cup. You have lost my respect. All the work my fellow allies and the LGBTQ+ community are doing to make football inclusive, you have shown that football isn’t a place for everyone.” – Australian footballer Josh Cavallo, a member of the LGBTQ community, addressing FIFA

Even if somehow you can get rid of human empathy and move past the human rights abuses, corruption and stigma surrounding the tournament, the actual match-watching experiences aren’t satisfactory either. The World Cup saw the construction of “fan villages” such as the Rawdat Al Jahhaniya which have been extremely criticised. The issue is, these so-called fan villages are made out of shipping containers and cost 300$ a night. Shipping containers in the desert with malfunctioning air conditioners for 300 USD a night – ah yes, the football fan’s utopia.

The match-watching experience for many fans also involves a lot of alcohol and FIFA knows that. After all, there is a reason that Budweiser is a main sponsor for the tournament. Despite Qatari laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol, FIFA had assured fans that alcohol would be served around the stadium. Budweiser was given designated areas in stadiums where alcohol could be sold and fans could be allowed to consume it. However, eight days before the event, Qatari officials informed Budweiser that their tents would be moved to less prominent locations and were no longer allowed inside the stadium itself but could be sold within the perimeter. Two days before the tournament, FIFA announced that all points of sale of alcoholic beverages would be removed from the stadiums in direct contradiction of the Qatari bid in 2010. This was a surprise, since in 2014 FIFA had forced Brazil to alter its previously stricter laws to allow World Cup fans to consume alcoholic beverages in the stadium freely – at the grave risk to safety and security.

I think personally, if for three hours a day you cannot drink a beer, you will survive.” – Gianni Infantino, FIFA President

This tournament has not proved to be a good proposition for the professionals that compete in it either. Traditionally, the World Cup takes place for an entire month in June, while players play for domestic leagues and cups from August to May. However, due to Qatar’s desert climate, the tournament was shifted to November-December as the climate would be too harsh on the players in June. The issue with this scenario is that the normal league seasons had been conducted as usual. However, with a FIFA World Cup sandwiched in between the normal league season the amount of games that players have to play during the same duration has increased by a lot. Throughout a normal season, teams often play more than 50 matches and it is normal for various players to be out with minor injuries for a game or two. With so many matches to play, though, it is expected that many players will suffer injuries that’ll keep them off the pitch for longer periods of time. While Qatar might be far from a fair World Cup, it is still a World Cup and most players do not often get the chance to represent their country at the biggest stage more than twice or thrice in their careers. It is thus, a huge blow to miss out on Qatar 2022 for anyone. Yet, this unusual tournament has led to a significant number of high profile players missing it such as Timo Werner, Christopher Nkunku, Lo Celso and more. The defending champions, France, have been especially unlucky with a number of their most important players such as Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane, N’Golo Kante and others missing the entire tournament.

These are unfortunately, still not the end of the things wrong with the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup. Qatar doesn’t allow free speech against its government, nor does it allow practice of any religion other than Islam in public spaces. There have been reports over the past few weeks that the country has hired people from Pakistan to play the role of fake fans to make up for the lack of travelling fans to the tournament. Qatar’s initial promises of sustainable stadiums and air conditioning for players on the pitch and the fans have started to be exposed as being hollow. The opener between Qatar and Ecuador was surrounded by rumours that Qatar had allegedly bribed 8 Ecuador players to lose the match (Ecuador won that by 2-0). Many Western nations have regularly hit back against the various controversies surrounding the tournament and Qatar at large. Denmark has decided to wear black jerseys instead of their usual red to mourn the deaths of the migrant workers who died in the past decade. FIFA has addressed these complaints by telling nations to “stick to football not politics” insisting that “FIFA is not in the business of giving moral lessons to the rest of the world”; a statement that the nations have openly expressed their displeasure for. An especially ironic statement considering FIFA chose to ban Russia from the FIFA World Cup after its occupation of Ukraine, showing that geopolitics in football only seem to matter when the party in the wrong is not currently generating revenue for FIFA.

The one good outcome of this is that the backlash is working even if only to a certain extent. There are positive steps being taken too. The Netherlands pledged on Friday to press FIFA into creating a long term resource centre for migrant workers in Doha. Several coaches and federations have backed calls to create a compensation fund for migrant workers. As mentioned before, eight European teams have done their best to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community, even publicly speaking out against FIFA’s attempts to stop them from doing so and despite homophobia prevailing in a majority of their fanbases. Even if too little and too late, Qatar did make some reforms to their predatory labour laws and hopefully further steps are not far behind.

I am no longer the 10 year old who fell in love with football thanks to the Flying Dutchman in 2014. I am 19 now and know way more about this beautiful game and somehow love it even more. This version of the FIFA World Cup is strange though; it doesn’t quite fill you with the same feeling of unity through a shared love for a game where magic is real. Maybe that’s because it simply doesn’t seek unity anymore, instead choosing to discriminate, oppress and alienate. Perhaps, for me and over a billion other fans, it is simply impossible to look past the ugliness of the beautiful game anymore.

Siddharth Kumar

[email protected]

Image credits: Sky Sports, Yahoo Sports, The Hindu, FIFA

Read Also: Sports and its Legions of Fanatics

From India’s cricket team with their legions of fans across the country to Barcelona’s Cules, sports have long been known to bring together some of the largest die-hard communities around the globe. So what happens when this fanaticism is left unchecked?

It was a warm night on 4th of September, 2022 at the Dubai International Stadium as India took on fierce rivals Pakistan in the Asia Cup. In the 18th over, Arshdeep Singh – a young and promising bowler who’d only made his India debut a couple of months ago – missed a vital catch. India was soon beaten by the neighbours and even though the 23 year old bowler’s final over was the reason the team still had a fighting chance at all, his fate was already sealed in the minds of most Indians across the country. In the days that followed, Arshdeep was subjected to a barrage of xenophobic comments all over social media dressed up as “criticism”. At one point, the bowler’s Wikipedia page was even edited to include references to Khalistan.

All this blind and raging hate to a young, bright star of the Indian national team for a dropped catch. This phenomenon isn’t new. Sporting events are incredibly huge and have some of the largest viewerships of any piece of entertainment in the world. With that kind of following, it is not strange to see that these communities attract all kinds of people – even the rotten apples. Where sports are seen as the peak of human ability, the communities they create often harbour the lowest cesspit of human morality.

The more alarming thing is the incredible scale and the normalisation of these regular campaigns of hate and character assassination. Arshdeep Singh is not the first and is likely not the last in a line of victims of sports fanaticism gone wrong. In 2021, Indian fast bowler, Mohammed Shami, was called a “traitor” and “Pakistani” following India’s defeat to Pakistan in a T20 match. In July 2021, some of England’s brightest young stars had racist abuses and bottles hurled at them after they missed the chance to score in a penalty shootout that could’ve won the country’s first trophy in 54 years. For most athletes, any faltered steps in their pursuits of perfection are an invitation for the bigoted cockroaches to come crawling out ready for a new day of insults, casual racism and death threats.

Quite possibly the most ironic part of this phenomenon is that sports thrive off of their ubiquity. They unite nations, states and even localities in their support for the best athletes that represent them competitively throughout history. Unfortunately, they just as easily unite the morally corrupt against an individual. Whether it’s the racist remarks hurled at opposition players in football leagues across Europe or the xenophobia hurled at their own team’s players for simple mistakes in India, it seems like stadiums are not temples dedicated to the game but instead, a safe space for bigotry and hate without consequences.

This fanaticism isn’t only an issue against athletes either. In 1985, during a final between Liverpool and Juventus, Liverpool fans started throwing projectiles at opposition fans who tried to climb the walls to escape the violence. The ensuing chaos couldn’t be handled by the ageing stadium and the stadium collapsed, killing 39 and injuring 600. More recently, in Turkey 2013, after a fierce derby was won by Fenerbahce over Galatasaray, a Fenerbahce fan was murdered by two Galatasaray fans as perceived “revenge”. India’s 2021 loss to Pakistan in a T20 tournament was followed by as many as 14 Kashmiri students beaten up across the country. It’s a tragedy that this incredible passion in the supporters can often hurt the supporters themselves.

Such violent events might lead one to wonder why anyone would want to be involved in such a violent (and sometimes, kind of stupid) phenomenon at all? The answer is, of course, community. Sports and their fan bases allow people to find like minded individuals. They create incredibly strong bonds over a competitive game and in a lot of instances, create a rivalry against other communities. As long as these rivalries stay within the rules of sportsmanship, they are incredible to be a part of. Fierce but friendly banter is exciting – it’s the subtle undertones of hate that tend to cause harm, especially in the hands of impassioned supporters.

One could argue that the reason behind such violent atmospheres surrounding sports and competition is that they are seen as an alternative to violence in the name of political, religious or communal agendas. India’s cricket matches against Pakistan are watched even by non cricket fans because of the significance and history of the rivalry between the two neighbours. In 1940s Spain, underdogs FC Barcelona were the symbol of a rising Catalonian rebellion against the draconian Franco dictatorship represented by Real Madrid. After all, you cannot legally hurt someone you don’t like or agree with, but you can definitely beat them on a grass pitch.

However, dear reader, a possibly even crazier phenomenon is that sports with its violent hatred and disregard for consequences is seen as the more respectable fandom to follow. Cosplaying as a Harry Potter character is weird or cringe, trying to act or dress like your favourite cricketer is totally normal – and in some instances, even cool. It is okay to be sad after your favourite club loses (And believe me, if you’re like me, that’s pretty regular) but stupid to be sad at the death of your favourite character. Perhaps it’s just blind ignorance to the preferences of others. Perhaps, it’s that sports are seen as a fan base that is made up of old uncles sharing a beer watching their matches on TV while books, movies and TV shows are seen as a fan base of teenage girls blogging on Tumblr. It is strange, this smear campaign against popular culture, when the more “respectable”, “acceptable” and normalised fanaticism is the one where stabbing someone or sending death threats is a perfectly acceptable reaction to loss.

In the end, though, sports will still garner their massive followings. PSG, a Paris based football club, reported revenues of 700 million euros last year. The BCCI has a net worth of 18000 crore rupees. The Dallas Cowboys in the NFL are worth 5.7 billion USD. These insane numbers are all due to their respective die-hard fan bases that are willing to do anything to showcase their support – in a mine-is-bigger way against the opposition. Why shouldn’t you support them? It’s good fun, great team building and an awesome feeling to cheer for your team against the opposition. Let’s just not go to war over it.

Read also: The Demise of Football

Image credits: ISRG

Siddharth Kumar

[email protected]

Remembering and looking back on the career of one of the most important influences to early Indian Football and a celebrity in his own right, Subimal Goswami.

Subimal Goswami, known lovingly by his fans as Chuni Goswami was a first class cricketer for Bengal and played football for India and Mohun Bagan FC. We take a look back at his career in football, where he earned major accolades for himself and the country.

Born in British India on the 15th January 1938, in the Bengal provinces, Chuni Goswami had grown up around football, so it came as no surprise when he joined the Mohun Bagan junior team at the age of 8.  There are many things about the great man that can fill with awe, including his football ability, but the love that he had for Mohun Bagan and his country was beyond description. A one club man, he stayed on at Mohun Bagan from 1946 to 1968, even though it is rumoured that he was approached by Tottenham Hotspur and other foreign clubs at the peak of his career.

In his career with Mohun Bagan FC, where he mostly played as a striker or winger, he has won the Calcutta Football League, Durand Cup, Rovers Cup, and IFA Shield several times in his career. He also cemented himself further in Mohun Bagan legend by being their highest ever scorer in the Calcutta Football League with 145 goals.

 His exploits for the Indian National Team will always be on the echelons of Indian Football History, playing 50 international games and scoring 9 goals, a lot of games for the time when he was a player. He captained India to her first Asian Games Gold Medal in 1962, and two silver medals in the 1964 Asia Cup And the Merdeka Cup.

While his career as a cricketer is not so often talked about, he was an accomplished all rounder for the Bengal team. In his 46 first class matches, he scored 1592 runs including one century and seven fifties and took 47 wickets. He has reached the Ranji trophy final twice, and notably when the West Indies team toured India in 1966, he was part of the combined East and Central Zone team in a friendly, where he took 8 wickets and his team pulled off a shock victory.

After his sad demise on 30th April 2020, we look at his life as a source of inspiration, for fellow sportspersons and all of us in general. His loyalty to his country and his club were commendable, even with temptations of playing abroad. It is this passion for one’s country that makes his legacy shine, and makes those in Bengal, especially supporters of Mohun Bagan FC, now one of the biggest clubs in Indian Football still hold up his posters and sing his names, because he represents more than the first successful Indian footballer, he represents that success can be achieved without having to take the foreign route.

Featured Image Credits: The Hindu

Prabhanu Kumar Das

[email protected]



The admission process of University of Delhi for the academic session of 2019 has begun. With this, candidates applying for sports quota have the coveted seats up for  grabs. The process is tedious and long, and requires the candidates to go through the requisite trials in their preferred discipline.

Here we will breakdown the whole process into concise steps:


The process begins with candidates registering themselves by filling up the online application forms available on the DU University of Delhi (DU)  Undergraduate (UG) portal. They can apply for a maximum number of three games/sport(s). The candidates have to submit an additional fee of Rs. 100 to apply in the sports category. 

The admission is based on two categories 

       1. Direct admission without Sports Trial

The candidate should have represented India in — Olympic Games (IOC), World championship or World Cup by International Sports Federation (ISF), Commonwealth Games by Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), Asian Games by Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), Asian Championships (ISF), South Asian Games (SAG) by South Asia Olympic Council (SAOC) and/or Paralympic Games by International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to be eligible for this category. They should be recognized and funded by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS).  

  1. Admission On the Basis Of Sports Trial

The admission process under this category requires candidates to go through two stages:

  1. Merit/Participation Sports certificate for 40 marks

The candidates can upload their self-attested copies of three merit sports certificate. However, only the highest value certificate will be considered for the marking. The certificate should fall between the timeline of 01st May 2016 to 30th April 2019 to be considered. The minimum marks required to be eligible for the sports trial is 04.

       2. Sports Trial for 60 marks

The three broad categories of sports in which participants can apply are: team games, dual and combat sports, and individual sports.  The team games include Baseball, Basketball, Cricket, Football, Handball, Hockey, Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, Netball, Softball, and Volleyball. The dual and combat sports include badminton, boxing, Judo, squash, table-tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis and wrestling. The individual sports include Archery, Athletics, Chess, Diving, Gymnastics, shooting, swimming and weight-lifting.


The sports trials will be held in the last week of June. The venue and the timings will be uploaded on the DU website.

The participant can only appear in one event/position/weight category and they should secure a minimum of 30 marks in the sports trials to be eligible for consideration in sports merit list, which will be further forwarded to the colleges.

The list of finally selected applicants will be displayed on the college website for three days. The marks of the sports certificates and sports trials will be displayed on the dashboard of the applicants as well. It is also mandatory for the candidates to submit an undertaking on Non-judicial Stamp paper of INR 100/- stating that he/she will play for the college and University during the course of three years.

Points to be noted:

  • Admission of candidate is solely based on the availability of seats in a course in the college.
  • An applicant’s name appearing in the sports merit list doesn’t guarantee admission in a college.
  • Any grievances pertaining to the marks shall be addressed by the UG Sports Grievance Committee.
  • Any injury/casualty suffered by the applicant during trial will be their sole responsibility.  

Feature Image Credits: Akarsh Mathur for DU Beat


Antriksha Pathania
[email protected]




As the top football leagues across the world take a break while their players are busy with international duties, we take a look at the major developments before it all gets to the final rounds.

  1. City the new Kings of England

Pep Guardiola’s side will be having mere formalities left to lift the elusive premier league title once the match days begin. Sitting at the top sixteen points clear of the second place Manchester United, the silverware is quite under their radar. They would be giving it all in their European campaign now, as they face Liverpool in the Champion’s league quarter-finals.


  1. Unstoppable Barcà

When Madrid crushed Barcelona over two legs last September, even their mouthpiece, Gerard Pique conceded that their team felt inferior to the Madrid giant but has since changed their statement. The Catalans transformed their playing style, relied on their talisman in Lionel Messi, and it has been a fairytale since then. Once the play resumes, they would look well set to lift the Spanish league, once again.


  1. The Madrid resurgence

Madrid had the dream start of this season. Beginning the season with the formidable win over the Catalans, they were widely regarded as the best in the world. On the back of this confidence, they let Morarta and James Rodriguez on loan and found confidence in Asensio and Lucas Varqueuz, something which did not quite turn up according to the expectations. But then, it all always depends on Ronaldo. Cristiano’s form dipped, and so did Madrid’s. And as the knock-out stages came, the Los Blancos were back at their royal best. When the house opens up again, expect the whites to win it all and claim the Champion’s league trophy for the record third consecutive time. Once again, on the back of the form of their Midas- Cristiano Ronaldo.

Feature Image Credits: Metro

 Nikhil Kumar

[email protected]



In an epic showdown of the invincible instincts of the Spanish Champions, Cristiano Ronaldo and company  lead Real Madrid to victory yet again consolidating themselves as the greatest team in Europe after a thumping 4-1 win over Juventus in the UEFA Champion’s League final.

The Principality Stadium in Cardiff, bore witness to what was yet another night of sheer Madrid dominance. The match saw Los Blancos no more relying on their Galacticos rubric and the team in its entirety demolished the fabled I Bianconeri defence after the likes of Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini and Dani Alves were reduced to mere dummies against the Modric-Casemiro-Kroos midfield magic.

The first goal of the night came after only 20 minutes of the whistle. Cristiano Ronaldo created a glorious chance for himself, in a quick one-two into the box with Carvajal, as he curled the ball past Buffon from just inside the area. The euphoria was only briefly hindered when Mario Mandzukic, the former Atletico man, scored a stunning scissor equaliser in the 27th minute. The goal spree continued as the second half saw detrimental goals coming from the thundering 27-yard from Casemiro and the tap-in from Ronaldo, with Asensio scoring the ultimate goal in the 90th minute.


Ronaldo jubilant after the final whistle.

All in all, Madrid did what Madrid does. They demolished the opposition inspite of the statistics and all the emotional strings attached with the retiring Gigi Buffon.

It is almost boring to see a team win repeatedly, but that is also the hardest thing to do. This is something enabled by the perfect game plan of the super-manager Zinedine Zidane and the perennial record-smashes of Cristiano Ronaldo. Their team has made everything achievable. They enjoy unprecedented success by facing different challenges to nearly any other team but overcoming them nonetheless.

This is the beginning of an era. The way Cristiano passes as selflessly as he scores, the way Casemiro demolishes the defence, the way Modric dances with the ball and the way Isco makes the ball move to his symphony. Madrid seems to have no stopping for some years to come. At the Super Cup this August, Manchester United might end up learning this the hard way.

Image Credits- Real Madrid Facebook Page.

Nikhil Kumar
[email protected]


In what was a brilliant display of the individual charisma of the super-manager Jose Mourinho and Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the red devils sealed their first major trophy this season.

The new chapter in the managerial stint of Jose Mourinho reached its maiden crescendo as Manchester United defeated Southampton 3 goals to 2 to win the EFL cup at Wembley Stadium this Sunday. The Red Devils, in spite of being dominated by the Saints for most part of the game, emerged victorious, thanks to the Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s brace and Lingard’s strike.

Ibrahimovic opened up the scoring chart as he netted a beautiful free-kick into the corner just after 19 minutes of the game, scoring his 25th goal this season. At 38 minutes, Lingard extended the ManU lead to two to nil as he slotted the Rojo pass elegantly in the bottom corner of the net from 16 yards. In no time the Saints got their well deserved goals as Gabbiadini found the net on the either halves at 45th and again at 48th minute to level the match. Finally, it was the talisman in Zlatan who broke the deadlock in the 87th minutes, standing tall above all and powering his header past Forster from six yards to seal United’s first silverware this season.

At the end of the night, it was loud and clear that the Southampton side were better of the two. They defended deep and attacked with all might. In spite of being denied a legitimate goal which clearly wasn’t an offside, Manolo Gabbiadini and company played a complete game, neutralising the United’s defence multiple times over the 90 mintues. Even Mourinho, addressing the press post-match, agreed that had the game gone into the extra time, the results could have been different. But what made Manchester United the champion was the resilience which the Mourinho-Ibrahimovic era has ushered into the team.

This wasn’t a game that Moyes or Van Gaal, or for that reason, Van Persie or Rooney could have won. This needed personal heroics, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, champion, winner and all-round hero, gave United just that as he lifted the 32nd trophy of his illustrious career and the maiden silverware at Old Trafford. Way to go!


Nikhil Kumar
[email protected]


Image credits: ibtimes.co.in

After 4 days, 26 matches and 86 goals, 16 teams have survived the first set of qualifiers and are aiming to make it through to the league stages of the DU Inter College Football Tournament that are scheduled to begin from the 14th of October. The results are as follows:


  • 6th October:Satyawati (E) College 2-0 SGND Khalsa College
    SGGSCC 4-2 Sri Aurobindo College (E)
    Shivaji College 1-0 Aryabhatta College
    Ram Lal Anand College 2-1 Ramjas College
    Dyal Singh College (E) 1-0 Acharya Narendra Dev College


  • 7th October:CVS 2-0 Keshav Mahavidyalaya
    DDUC 4-1 Rajdhani College
    Sri Aurobindo College 2-1 Bhaskaracharya
    Zakhir Hussain (E) 6-0 Ramanujan College
    IGIPESS 2-1 Dyal Singh College


  • 8th OctoberSatywati (E) 0-0 Hansraj (4-2 on penalties)
    PGDAV 5-0 CIC
    Satyawati 3-1 NSIT
    Maharaja Agrasen College 4-1 SGGSCC
    Shivaji College 2-1 DCAC
    Ram Lal Anand 2-1 Shyam Lal College
    Swami Shraddhanand College 1-0 ARSD
    Dyal Singh College (E) 1-0 Deshbandhu College


  • 9th OctoberShaheed Bhagat Singh College (E) 4-1 CVS
    SRCC 3-0 Hindu College
    Shyam Lal College (E) 5-1 DDUC
    Bhaskaracharya 2-2 Moti Lal Nehru College (3-0 on penalties)
    Zakhir Hussain (E) 3-1 Shaheed Bhagat Singh College
    BR Ambedkar 1-0 SGTB Khalsa College
    SSCBS 4-1 PGDAV(E)
    IGIPESS 2-1 St. Stephens College


The sixteen teams will face off in another set of matches on the 10th and 12th of October to determine which four will progress to the league stages. Last year’s top four teams: KMC, SVC, Moti Lal Nehru (E) and champions Zakhir Hussain were given direct entry to the league stages and will face off against the four victors that emerge over the next two match days. The current top scorer of the tournament is Puneet from Zakhir Hussain (E) who has scored 6 times in 2 matches. Madhav from SSCBS and Thang Mamang from Shyam Lal (E) are tied for second place with four goals each.


We would like to remind our readers that matches are available live on www.ncfl.in along with highlights and updates brought to you by the North Campus Football League team.


Shraman Ghosh

[email protected]

BITS Pilani recently conducted the BITS Open Sports Meet(BOSM), its annual sports fest from the 18th-22nd of September. The fest, in its 30th edition witnessed record attendance as well as participation. Colleges from all over India descended on the golden sands of Pilani to give stellar performances. Many new sports events were added to the itinerary. BOSM also hosted its first ever prof-show, a music concert by the immensely popular electro- indie band “The F16s”. The organizing clubs and departments then kept the crowd entertained with numerous fun games and events- like Human Foosball, zorbing, street football and Anti-Chess. The renewal of the LAN gaming competition was a hit as well, witnessing huge crowds either to play or just enjoy the action!


Several colleges from DU had participated in BOSM this year. Shri Ram College of Commerce clean swept all 3 categories in the Chess competitions. The basketball teams from SRCC also put forth telling performances on the court and deservedly won the boys’ event and narrowly lost out in the finals in the girls’ event. The boys beat the equally amazing Hans Raj in the final. Sri Venkateswara, or Venky as their fans here called them, comfortably won the football event beating BITS Dubai in the final.


The fest was a roaring success, right from the opening ceremony to the finals on the last day, everyone who attended had been thoroughly entertained. The rain, as is customary during every BOSM, tried to throw the spanner in the works on the opening day itself, but the sheer enthusiasm of the audience and the resilience of the participants and the organizing committee was enough to chase the clouds away and BOSM went off just as planned.

How the fest betters itself next year, only remains to be seen.The success it had this year was unprecedented.


The Delhi University Kerala Students’ Association, Maithry, organised an inter college football tournament for students from Kerala on the 27th and 28th of August. The league took place at Hindu College. While attracting a lot of students, the event witnessed participation by about eight teams constituting students from different college of the varsity. The uniqueness of the event was that it was a three-a-side tournament with each team having just three players and each match lasting for twenty minutes.

The qualifier round on day 1 eliminated half the teams. Finally, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Hindu College, Zakir Hussain College and Faculty of Law made it to the semi-finals. On the second day after the semi-final and final round, Faculty of Law became the winners after defeating Hindu College. The winners were awarded a glittering trophy along with certificates by the President of Maithry, Abdul Aseeb. Everybody could be seen in high spirits simply because of their common love for the game!

About the association: Maithry organizes a plethora of events all year round including various festivities. The Onam celebrations are a big hit among the Keralites, attracting a great footfall every year. The association also holds grand celebrations as the fresher’s party as well as the farewell party for graduating students. They even provide need-based scholarships for meritorious students catering to their needs. Activities like these help the students to showcase the mutual interests and enthusiasm shared by them for their culture, practices and hobbies. We hope Maithry continues to host more such events in future that help the students to reconcile every now and then.

Image credits: Umar Muqtar

Tanya Agarwal                                                    

[email protected]