Chandigarh, February 8: The inaugural edition of sabat-soorat Sikh football cup culminated on Saturday with Khalsa FC Jalandhar edging past Khalsa FC Gurdaspur 3-1 in a fiercely fought finale played at football stadium, Sector 42 here.
The historic initiative dedicated to the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji is aimed at reclaiming glorious Sikh sporting culture and contribution, organised jointly by Khalsa Football Club (Khalsa FC) and Global Sikh Sports Federation hugely succeeded in disseminating the message to aggressively adopt and spread the Khalsa way of life as propagated by our reverend Guru Sahibs for the betterment of overall humanity.
Commencing on January 30th from Sri Amritsar Sahib, the tourney witnessed fierce competition amongst all 23 teams including 22 district teams from Punjab and one team from Chandigarh.
Speaking before the start of finale, president Khalsa FC Harjeet Singh Grewal disclosed that separate tournament for sabat-soorat girls would also be held from next year. The genesis of this thought to have a dedicated sabat-soorat tournament was the situation arising in the wake of racial attacks on Sikhs in some countries, added Grewal. This would also certainly act as a major force to wean our youth away from drug menace, he further added.
Veteran world renowned athlete Mann Kaur, who was honoured for her athletic feats on the occasion, termed the tournament as new chapter in the field of sports. She also said that this unique sports festival would further resonate Sikh spirit across the world besides promoting Sikh cultural values.
ADGP AS Rai expressed confidence that such sporting events would certainly go a long way in reviving the sports culture amongst Sikh youngsters adding that we would soon have Sikh players playing stellar role in all our national teams. Many Sikhs have brought international laurels for the country in the past and we would once again have sabat-soorat players leading our teams, he added.
On the occasion Sant Baba Avtar Singh Rupnagar, Sant Baba Dilawar Singh Brahmji, Sant Baba Gurdev Singh Nanaksar and Sant Baba Kapoor Singh Saneran also addresses the gathering and asked the players to imbibe spiritual values and retain originality while playing games. SGPC junior Vice President Gurbakhsh Singh Khalsa lauded the organisers for this significant step assuring them of all assistance and cooperation from his side in all such future competitions. Hardeep Singh Butrela announced to hold Sikh Football Cup in UT Chandigarh from the next year with the support of Khalsa FC.
Earlier, Gurdaspur scored first goal in 27th minute with Jalandhar launching into an attack equalising it in 45th minute. At the half way mark both teams were tied at 1-1 leaving hundreds of spectators gasping for more in the second half.
Coming out all guns blazing in the last half, Jalandhar scored another goal in the 52nd minute to take the unassailable lead 2-1. In the injury time at 90th minute Jalandhar scored another goal taking the total score by 3-1. The winners Khalsa FC Jalandhar were awarded with a trophy and cash prize of Rs. 5 lacs with deserving runners up Khal FC Gurdaspur getting Rs. 3 lacs.
Director sports Chandigarh Tejdeep Singh also lauded the efforts of Khalsa FC and assured all sporting help for the players. He said the sabat-soorat teams would certainly pave the way for eliminating doping problems in sports.
Prominent amongst others who graced the occasion included former member PPSC Sukhwant Singh Sarao, former senior deputy mayor Chandigarh Hardeep Singh Butrela, Arjuna Awardee Gurdev Singh Gill, Amrik Singh Sidhu UK, senior vice president Balwinder Singh Jaura Singha, vice president Amanjeet Singh and Manjit Singh Khalsa, Kanwar Harbir Singh Dhindsa, secretary general Dr Pritam Singh joint secretary Manjit Singh coach, Prof Parmpreet Kaindowal, Surjit Singh Bains, Harpreet Singh Sarao and Harshveer Singh Grewal, Majha Zone coordinator Harjeet Singh Khalsa, secretary Harjinder Kumar, finance secretary Baljit Singh, Jaitshahoodeep Singh Grewal, executive member Inderjit Singh Sandhu, Jaswant Singh Jassa, Parmjit Singh, Amritpal Singh, Master Gurcharn Singh, vice president Punjab Football Association Amarjit Singh Kohli, Gobinder Singh DPE, Balbir Singh Chawla, Jagmeet Singh Bhola, Amarjot Singh Brar, Ranjit Singh, Manjinder Singh Coach, Bhupinder Singh Mundi Kharar, social media incharge Prabhmeet Singh and Varun Bhardwaj.