The sports committee of IIM Udaipur, Lakesiders, organized the annual football league of IIM Udaipur (FLU) during the months of October and November of 2015. The league ,modelled on the lines of the international football leagues comprised of six teams and a total of 84 players participated in it. The team names were Balicha Tigers, Lake Warriors, SoccaHolics, Land Sharks, Udaipur Rangers and Mad Thrashers. The players were selected in the teams through an IPL style auction which had PGP 1 girls in the capacity of managers and solely responsible for the buying decisions. The tournament schedule was such that the teams had to go through a Round-Robin stage following which the top three teams qualified. The top team was a direct entrant to the final whereas the next two had to play a semifinal to qualify as the second finalist.The tournament was witness to great team game play, amazing skills and runs and intense rivalry between the teams which culminated with Balicha Tigers lifting the coveted trophy after a close but brilliant final with Mad Thrashers.
The tournament foundation and loyalty for the respective teams was laid on the day of the auction. The auction as aforementioned was modelled on the lines of the IPL. The auction process was moderated by the Lakesider members and the bidders were the PGP 1 girl students who, in continuing with the tradition of the preceding years, were the managers for the six teams. The bidders however had a consultant tagged with them to assist them through the auctioning process and advice them regarding which players to purchase. The team names were first alloted to the girl managers through a lucky draw system. Each set of manager and consultant was then provided with 100 million ( virtual) for the process in total from which they had to buy 14 players. The bidding comprised of three rounds which comprised of the team players in the first round followed by players who were extremely good followed by players who were good and those who were interested in participating. The bidding commenced and during the subsequent two and a half hours of the process , there were numerous hits and misses with many players going for exhorbitant amounts whereas several brilliant players went for significantly less amounts and proved to be amazing bargains for the managers. However, there were no surprises when the current captain of the football team, Saurabh Gupta, went for the highest amount of 27 million followed by the striker of the team, Arjun Khetarpal, who went for an amazing 23.5 million respectively.
The tournament commenced with the match between Udaipur Rangers and SoccaHolics. The match was an intense one but the quality of the Udaipur Rangers was extremely evident and ended with a 3-0 win for them. The following matches too were brilliant exponents of the most followed game and certainly helped maintain the high level of competence expected from the league. As the league progressed , the teams got to know each other’s playing style and the main players and it gradually became a battle of wits with teams deploying proper formations and resorting to tactics such as man marking to counter their opponents. The games too were played with intense rivalry and saw the referees brandishing a host of yellow and extremely seldom red cards. As the matches progressed , the win margins kept shrinking and it often used to be a moment of brilliance or a brilliant move which proved to be crucial in deciding outcomes. Though all teams gave their best, the three teams that maintained their performances throughout were Udaipur Rangers, Balicha Tigers and Mad Thrashers and subsequently qualified for the following rounds with Balicha qualifying directly for the finals. However, Lake Warriors deserve a special mention as they too were consistent performers and were ousted only in their last league game with Udaipur Rangers which was billed by everyone as the virtual semifinal. SoccaHolics and Land Sharks tried their level best and were brilliant competition for the other teams and kudos to their effort. The semi-final between Udaipur Rangers and Mad Thrashers was an extremely tight game with both teams giving their best and ended in a stalemate which was followed by an extremely nervy penalty shootout where the Mad Thrashers kept their calm and prevailed and hence qualified for the final. The final lived up to its billing with both teams playing an extremely intense and physical game. The game saw a number of heated moments with the players being egged on by the crowd. The game witnessed brilliant touches, towering headers and the players vying tirelessly for the ball. The Balicha Tigers however, maintained their brilliant run and emerged victorious by a 2-0 margin with Saurabh Gupta and Chandan Sagar (the Golden Boot winner) scoring the vital goals. The final whistle saw contrasting emotions with frenzied celebrations from the Tigers whereas the Thrashers’ players were extremely distraught. The following ceremony witnessed the conferring of various awards for brilliant individual performances such as Emerging Player to Prateek Kiran, Golden Boot to Chandan Sagar and Golden Ball to the best player of the tournament Prateek Goyal. Finally, Saurabh Gupta lifted the trophy for the Tiger’s which sparked wild celebrations and bringing the curtain down on another annual edition of the league.
FLU 15 was certainly a great experience for all the players and lived up to the high expectations expected of the leagues. The league was witness to an abundance of talent and is certainly a brilliant testament to the strong sporting culture at IIM Udaipur. FLU 15 was another feather in the cap for the Lakesiders and the great response certainly provides brilliant motivation for the other leagues and provides impetus to have more such events. Finally, organizing and executing the event required help from both batches and it was an amazing coordinated effort which helped pull it off thereby displaying the importance the students at IIM Udaipur place on all events as great exponents of developing the amazing culture at IIMU. Hence, FLU 15 was a great success and we are certain that the incoming batch will certainly be as talented if not more so and take FLU 16 to another level altogether .