Papatoetoe bags top FIANZ Soccer honours

From the Best Goalkeeper Moshin Ali, Best Manager Aiyaz Mohammed and Most Valuable Player (MVP) Imraz Sharif to the Championship, the Papatoetoe Muslim Soccer Team took home almost all honours at the FIANZ Muslim Unity Cup Tournament held at Bill McKinlay Park in the Auckland suburb of Panmure on March 31.

The exciting three-day Soccer Tournament, held over the Easter weekend saw an exhilarating grand final between Mount Wellington Ba and Papatoetoe Muslim Soccer Team on Easter Sunday.

Deciding kick

While a majority of teenagers, playing on both sides, could not decide the winner after the full time game of one hour, it was during the dying minutes of the second extra time that a free kick by MVP Imraz Sharif that decided the match, heading past Mt Wellington’s keeper Naushad Ali by Mohammed Nazim.

Soheb Sheikh, Papatoetoe’s playmaker, displayed some dazzling footwork, bringing thrilling moments to his fans, but was shut down by the extra defence of Abdul Haroon, who managed the Mt Wellington Ba team.

“Such a grand final in soccer was seen after many years,” Humm Radio 106.2 FM commentator Saten Kumar said during his broadcast.

New Zealand Muslim Sports Association hosted the annual FIANZ Unity Cup Soccer Tournament, which accounted for 12 teams.

The Tournament was sponsored by the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) with Radio Humm, Ram’s Cleaning Ltd, Takanini Fish Mart and Halal Tasty Foods Ltd.

Islamic teachings

South Auckland Muslim Association President Ibrar Sheikh, who was the Chief Guest, appealed to the members of the community to follow Islamic teachings.

“One such was respecting parents and elders, which was the theme of this year’s Tournament,” he said.

The Otahuhu Muslim team was named the Best Discipline team, while Haji Mohammed Azeem, Life Member of the New Zealand Muslim Sports Association and current Coordinator and Administrator of Auckland Muslim Council earned the President’s Appreciation Award.

Tournament Organising Committee Chairman Shameel Jalil said it was the patronage and support of officials, managers, players, sponsors and soccer enthusiasts that contributed to the success of the three-day Tournament.

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