The team from Brisbane (Australia) took home Championship Trophy on its debut at the FANCA ICC Tournament held in Fiji last month.
Brisbane’s lone goal came through a 27th minute penalty and captain Shoheel Khan took responsibility to seize the moment.
In the semi-finals, Nadi defeated Ba by a single goal and Brisbane thumped Otahuhu by 3-0. Brisbane defeated Nadi by 1-0 in an extremely exciting final where both teams played to win at any cost, which saw the match official flash seven yellow cards.
The four-day FANCA ICC Tournament concluded on June 30 2013 at Prince Charles Park in Nadi. Among the other teams were Nasinu, Ba, Sigatoka, Cuvu, Maigania, Sydney Mulomulo Highlanders, Varavu, Bemana, Ponsonby, Sabeto, Papatoetoe, Nadi, Otahuhu, Navua, Valelevu, Dannemora, Rarawai, Drasa and Sydney Stallions.
Brisbane had also won the Muslim IDC title in Sydney held in December 2012.
Prior to the ICC tournament, one of the competitors, Sydney Mulomulo Highlanders, hosted a presentation night to raise funds for its expenses in Fiji.
Speaking at the function held in Sydney, FANCA Board of Governors Australian representative, Abdul Ayub said that FANCA introduced the ICC tournament to enable players who did not make it to their national teams at FANCA tournaments, to get a second chance and represent their clubs.
“The Tournaments ensure closer ties with Fiji, our homeland,” he said.
Sadiq Koya, another FANCA official, said that the activities of the Organisations are in the best interests of the Muslim community.
Culture and Unity
ICC teams advance the strategic goals set by FANCA in promoting sports and culture.
Mulomulo Sydney Highlanders Sports and Social Club (MSHSSC), formed in 2005, is an ardent advocate of FANCA’s objectives. With strong promoters like Mohammed Munna, Mohammed Afazal (Chotu) and Ifraz Mohammed, the Club has been a source of inspiration for sports enthusiasts, encouraging youngsters to be disciplined and professional players.
As well as fostering ties with Fiji through ICC tournaments, the Organisation undertakes several benevolent activities in Fiji, ranging from payment of electricity and water bills of various Masjids and Islamic Centres and the salary of the Mulomulo Masjid Imam for the month of November each year. The Club also arranges Iftars at Masjids in Fiji during the Holy Month of Ramadan and offers Zakat to the poor and the needy.
As a Club based on the teachings of Islam, it has promoted compassion and equality among the members of the community.
The Club is blessed to have players of international reputation such as Sameer Ali, Mohammed Shafeem, Aiyaz Begg (Ajju) and Nizam Anthony.
They will continue to influence young and talented players including Mohammed Ilfaz Ali, Fiazal Begg, Mozim Hussein, Ahmed Chandab, Elvis Ibric, Arkam Hussein, Naushad Ali, Brima Kamara, Mohammed Shareek, Mohammed Shalmeen and Kareem.
While Sydney Mulomulo Highlanders did not finish in the top four, a team with such positive attitude, influential players, and genuine community support, is bound to reach great heights in future.
Arveen Sharma is the founding member of Auckland Ba (established in 1981) and played soccer for Miramar Rangers and Seatoun clubs in Wellington in the 1980s. He is now Communication and Public Relations Officer of the Australia Fiji Soccer Association based in Canberra.