London Mauritian Football Tournament 2018

Chagos Mauritians win tournament for 2nd year running

Mauritian community spirit soared high on Sunday 6 May, as London summer temperatures rose in celebration of our Mauritian Football Tournament.

A turnout of over 1,000 Mauritians, included players, their families and friends all giving their full support. Sound of the Ravanne in the background, with dhal purri , Alim and Phoenix beer in abundance, the pulsating sega beats echoed round the park, reminding us of Mauritius and Diego and it’s diverse culture, it’s people, it’s food, and it’s music which is still alive.

Participating teams consisted, Cosmos United, Chagos Mauritians , Club Des Iles, Skylark, Excel, Real Maurice PLB, Catania and Mauritius United.

Congratulations to Cosmos United as they celebrate their 50th anniversary.

On to the football, and the first round, saw a gruelling game Real Maurice plb v Cosmos United. Cosmos were up by 2 goals provided by Dylan Rigorbert. Unfortunately. for Dylan he also saw a red card for a two footed lunge. He walked off immediately sensing the inevitable. This proved to be a costly error as Real Maurice battled back to win 3-2. Goals came from Dominic Griffiths and Ashley Nowbuth.

Thereafter, a determined Cosmos went head to head with Mauritius United cleaning up with an impressive 14- 0 scoreline. Six goals came from Joel Hughes, who went on to win the top goal scorer. At this point it is appropriate to add that Mauritius UTD were without 10 key players but bravely battled on like true professionals and never gave up despite a broken rib sustained by their captain.

As the day wore on the heat became more intense, but the seering hot sunshine seemed to galvanise the players. Chagos went on beat Excel 3-0. Club Des Iles and Skylark fought a hard 1 – 1 draw. Real Maurice beat MAURITIUS Utd 3-2. With Skylark already in the finals, it was down to Chagos and Club Des Iles to clinch the final semi final place. A hard fought and exciting tense match saw Chagos claim victory.

Finally, the day reached semi -finals, Chagos vs Cosmos and Real Maurice vs Skylark.

Chagos and Cosmos are old adversaries, the football was high class. Chagos ended Cosmos’s journey to the final with a 2-1 victory and Skylark beat Real Maurice in a tense penalty shootout, securing a 5-4 win.

Two teams finally emerged and Chagos met Skylark in the final for the first time. but not without an unexpected dramatic turn of event. Towards the end of the final match, an epic emergency arose which eclipsed the football competitiveness and grasped the roots of real sportsmanship to the core. A team member collapsed on the field and needed urgent medical attention. The game was immediately stopped and an ambulance was summoned to assist. Both teams and supporters rallied around this team member with such a high level of concern and empathy, that the essence of who would win the match became lost as fellow Mauritians showed their real warm sentiments and team playing sportsmanship to a high level. The collapsed team player was finally provided medical assistance and taken away in an ambulance. Ryan is recovering well at home and will return next year.

Chagos secured another marvellous victory second year in a row and has consistently showcased tremendous courage, resilience and skill, despite not having an official sponsor. They showed so much love, grace and respect as they went up to secure their cup. Johnny Edmund, the manager gave a remarkable interview after the match, and placed his heartfelt aspirations on his hope that sport will pave the way for younger generations of footballers to come in the UK. Congratulations to Chagos on retaining this year’s reigning champions of Mauritius Football in the UK.

It was a beautiful proud moment for all Mauritians to witness and be part of this Mauritian football Tournament celebration. Each player and manager who took part must congratulate themselves on being part of this as there is a lot of hard work and training that goes behind this. Each participant should feel blessed on being part of this sporting journey. Any football scout wishing to seek new talent should look no further than coming to a Mauritian football tournament as it holds all the key ingredients of sports success in what any successful club seeks in its players and his ethics.

Sincere thanks goes to the ones who worked tirelessly all year round in providing this event. Girish Daby, the Chairman of the committee, created and bore the idea of the tournament since the late 1980’s and led his committee members of Noel Valapinee, Nitia Nadar, Ruben Pavaday and Kevin Neeliah to make this a concerted success. They worked without respite all day to ensure the days success and all who were present were well looked after. Our thanks goes to our sponsor, Ravi Dabysingh, owner of Mange Des Iles, who kept the crowd replenished all day with delicious Mauritian delicacies and cold Phoenix beer.

Wishing all participating teams, supporters, committee members, family and friends a wonderful summer 2018 ahead.