MITFL Press Conference 1
It’s difficult to forget the day we stood in line in AB5 waiting to sign that piece of paper so they could hand us a Manipal University backpack. It contained a black and silver piece of hardware that everyone was rather excited to possess. Our laptops.
Is the screen good? What do the speakers sound like? How’s the keyboard? These were all valid questions and were eventually what we ended up talking about. But the first and most important question that we as students of engineering and fans of the wonderful sport of football was:
But does it run FIFA?
What is it about football that drives us mad? We destroy friendships defending the clubs we support. We stay up well past midnight just to watch the matches live. Some of us even buy the merchandise. Alright, who am I kidding? We all buy the merchandise.
Somewhere deep within us, there resides the throbbing desire to be professional football players. It’s why we play the FIFA games in the first place. It’s our only way of living the fantasy.
At least it was until MITFL – Manipal’s very own semi-professional football league – came into existence.
On January 12, 2016 MITFL held a press conference where MTTN was invited to listen and ask questions about the league. Here’s what we know:
What does the winner get?
There will be prize money but the amount is yet to be decided. We’re still working on sponsorships so once those have rolled in we’ll be able to give you a better idea. We are still open to sponsorship partners and urge all startups around Manipal to contact us to put their logo on the jerseys.
How is MITFL funded?
We have three major sponsors as of now. The MIT Post is our official media partner. Alongside BhaiJugaad, we also have Webloom Solutions and Research Chimp sponsoring us. Webloom is completely funding the development of our website and Research Chimp are the ones who’ve done most of our graphic design work.
Where will the games be held?
Since the MIT sports ground isn’t in a good enough condition for the games at this point, the matches will be held at end-point. A proposition for floodlights has been made and we should be able to play at least one game this season using the floodlights.
Who are going to work as referees and other on-field staff?
The student council and sports club are providing us with volunteers.
Will there be merchandise?
As of now, not much has been discussed but there is a plan to incorporate merchandise. Any and all profits will go to MITFL and will be used for the improvement of the ground.
How are the players selected?
The selection process for players is quite elaborate. They will be tested based on speed, tackling technique, dibbling, shooting and passing accuracy. There will also be a test for goal-keeper reaction time. Based on the scores here, all the selected players will be ranked from most to least fit and they are evenly distributed into the teams.
What are the general rules of the game? Are there any league-specific rules?
Each game will run either 25 or 30 minutes. There can be 2 friendlies in a rolling substitute model. The rest of the rules are the same as FIFA rules. There must be two players from each year and a maximum of 4 ‘elite’ players which have been picked out by the league. The use of safety equipment (such as shin-guards) is advised, but not enforced by the league rules.
What about player transfers?
No player transfers will occur during the season. The players are distributed evenly and if there is any uneven distribution then the players will be reassigned as per requirement.
How will all the teams manage to practice on the same ground? And where will the MIT A and B teams practice? How will you manage clashes?
The student council and sports club will ensure that all the teams get the required amount of field time to practice and that there will be no clashes. Also, there will be a group training session on Saturdays for all the teams.
What are the tentative fixtures?
31st January should be the first match day if all goes according to plan. There will be two games in the morning and 2 rounds of friendlies. There will also be one evening game after 5.30.
So that’s what we found out about MITFL at their press conference. We’ll be keeping a close watch on them for the upcoming season and if you’re as excited as we are, stay tuned for more.