Interview with Hyderabad Futsal League co-founder Murad Jasani: "HFL wants to create heroes out of sportsmen"
The Hyderabad Futsal League, popularly known as the HFL is the Hyderabad’s first and Biggest 5 a side Football League and works on the popular franchise model with home and away games format. It gives you all the thrills of any International League like the EPL, La Liga with player auctions, Transfer window and listing, a knockout cup, prize money, Rolling Trophy and Individual Awards.
The first season of HFL was held from December 2015 to February 2016 with 12 teams and matches were played at 9 venues. Season 2 of HFL is just around the corner with match day 1 scheduled for 12th Aug 2016 and it already looks like it has grown Bolder, Bigger and Better.
We at Sportskeeda liked the concept and the vision the Founders of the league have and thus decided to come on Board as The Official Media Partners for HFL SEASON 2.
We spoke to Murad Jasani, one of the founders of the HFL and this is what he had to say.
What is the vision of HFL?
HFL is the first league of its kind in the city. The vision of HFL is to give an opportunity to talented football players in the city by giving them a platform where their talent is recognised and appreciated. HFL wants to create heroes out of sportsmen and bring about a change in the manner football is played in the city with a more professional and disciplined approach.
We are in the process of tying up with I-League and ISL Teams to give trails to the talent we have on display in the HFL thus creating an opportunity for the untapped players to improve and become professionals.The long-term vision of HFL is to have 20 permanent teams in the first division of the league with relegations and promotions from the second division.
How did the idea of HFL come up? How many people were/are involved?
Sports has been a lifelong passion for me and I eat, breathe and sleep sport. I’ve always wanted to do something which was related to sports. One evening while I was out with a friend Naved, one of our founders, who told me that I should do a football tournament to start with and we started planning for a 2-day football tournament but I realised that a lot of people organise 2-day tournaments and they are soon forgotten.
So the desire of creating something that was unique and not easily replicable gave birth to the HFL. As we went along, the thought process grew much larger with a lot of contribution and ideas from a lot of friends.
Right now there’s 5 of us managing the whole show with Shahrukh, Naushad and Sujeet bringing in their sets of skills and ideas to the table and helping with all the work that goes into organising something this big.
Will the HFL be restricted to just one city or do you have any plans of taking this to other cities in India?
After HFL Season 1 we realised that the concept of using the available resources in the city with Artificial turf grounds and local talent was too good to be limited to just one city and hence this year we are going to Pune in September with PFL and Bengaluru in December with BFL.
We are also launching the Indian Futsal Champions League(IFCL) where the winners from each city will compete to be crowned the Champions of India. In 2017 we plan to add 3 more cities to the IFCL. Our 5-year plan is to have these league in at least 12 cities in India and create a culture fof football where players are recognised,respected and looked upon as role models.
For the PFL we have tied up with Groundwala.in to create the groundwork for us as we share the same vision.
How difficult was it to execute the plan/idea? Did you face any challenges?
Right from identifying the grounds and convincing the ground owners to come on board, explaining the whole concept to the franchises and selling the teams; bringing in sponsors to make this sustainable, and good quality football referees we’ve faced a lot of challenges but HFL is a passion project.
We’ve never had any doubts that this will scale the heights and popularity that it has achieved so far and we know that this is just the beginning of something huge.
Tell us about the players participating, are they professional footballers?
We wanted to provide a platform for amateur and corporate footballers to showcase their skills but at the same time ensure that the quality of football being played is of the highest level possible. So we have a good mix of both amateurs, professionals and former professionals too who can still add a lot of quality and experience to the teams.
What is Bigger, Bolder and Better about HFL Season 2?
Everything! The number of teams have increased. The number of Home Grounds have increased and this season we are only using Artificial Turf Grounds. The prize money for winners and Runners-up has gone up. We’ve added a mid-Season Transfer Window where players can be traded and also added a knock-out cup to the season plus giving the winners the chance to qualify for the IFCL.
All this is possible because of the help we get from our Sponsors Honda Motorcycles,Red Bull and TNR North City Group who share similar ideologies for providing opportunities to the raw and talented youth of our country to express themselves.
Looking forward to having you on board this season and taking HFL to the millions of Sportskeeda followers all over the world.