Sevens football season to kick off on Monday
Football in Kerala takes a different dimension in the mid-season as the local tournaments gain more prominence over the ongoing national or foreign leagues. Fans pour into the stands and make the venues electric with claps and boos for the favourite local stars.
Yes, the undying passion for the local sevens football in the state of Kerala as the season is just 3 days away from kickoff. The first official tournament in sevens football season will kickoff in Kupooth, Malappuram on Monday.
In a season spread over 6 months around 40 plus official seven-a-side tournaments are organised under the watchful eye of sevens football association. The accurate number of tournaments cannot be predicted as there are thousands of local tournaments are happening in and around the state during the season.
Sevens football is organised by Sevens Football Association of Kerala under the aegis of Kerala football association. Unlike the other formats of the game the game is too quick and has a widespread popularity among the people all across Kerala. As the name suggests it is a mini format of football with several changes in rules to make it more competitive and attractive, though the basic rules of the games remain the same.
The size of the field is reduced to accommodate seven players in each side. each team can use up to three foreigners in the starting line up along with local players and can make a maximum of three substitutions.
Sevens tournaments are usually organised at different places by different communities. The proceeds from these tournaments are usually used for the purpose of charity. In the aftermath of the flood situation that prevailed in the state the number of official tournaments had actually gone down.
This year around 40 official tournaments will be conducted across Kerala and all the above-said tournament will be conducted under floodlights.
For quite some time seven-a-side games were facing criticism for being unprofessional in their approach. From the start of last season onwards sevens football has also seen some marked improvement in terms of their professional approach.
Players playing for the teams now have a medical insurance coverage and are paid well too. Players in the sevens league earn much better than some professional footballers in I-League and ISL.
About the Teams Participating
Strongholds Fifa Manjeri, Super studio Malappuram, Royal Travels etc.. has already signed and recruited local stars to their team well in advance in the eye of winning the season. Other major teams have also started their preparations for the league too by bringing in talented foreign players to their side.
Sevens football season in Kerala is like a festive season for the natives especially for the natives in Malabar region. The fans gather in numbers to support their teams and watch super exciting matches filled with action and suspense.
The undying passion for the game is the sole reason why they are coming to watch the matches. With the kind of support seven-a-side teams receives it is evident that the local football scene in Kerala will continue to grow in the years to come.