# Move aimed at averting racial attacks on Sikhs as incidents of mistaken identity in foreign shores
# First Sikh football cup for Sabat-soorat players from January 30
#Khalsa FC team to compete with Indian, European teams
Chandigarh January 29: Khalsa Football Club (Khalsa FC), a registered non-profit sports organization, in association with Global Sikh Sports Federation, is organizing first Sikh Football Cup in Punjab and Chandigarh for Keshadhari (Unshorn hairs & beard) players from January 30.
Disclosing this Khalsa FC president Harjeet Singh Grewal, senior Vice President Balwinder Singh Joura Singha and Secretary Principal Balwinder Singh, said this football cup has been dedicated to 550th Prakash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji . It will be held under FIFA rules from January 30 to February 8 in various districts, adding he said “Our prime objective is to encourage the Punjabi youth to engage in sports as ‘Keshadhari’ (Sabat-soorat) sportspersons and to regain the sheen lost in the past, which was once reigned by Punjabis in sports”.
He further informed that Takhat Sri Keshgarh Sahib Jethedar Giani Raghbir Singh will inaugurate the inaugural ceremony at Khalsa College Amritsar. SGPC general secretary Rajinder Singh Mehta will preside over the event besides members of SGPC and other dignitaries will grace the occasion.
Revealing the upcoming plans Grewal informed that the Khalsa FC would select its Sabat-soorat team during this week long mega event. This elite team would play matches with prominent teams in India as well as football clubs in different countries. “Khalsa FC would act as launching pad for promising players so as they could realize their good luck in executing contracts with high valued Indian as well as European football clubs”, he stated.
Elaborating more football promoter Grewal mentioned that this unique ‘Keshadhari’ event would promote Punjabi culture and Sikh identity consciousness worldwide thereby initiating efforts to avert racial attacks on Sikhs under the guise of mistaken identity. In addition to this, it would also be instrumental in weaning away the youth from drug abuse besides channelizing their unbounded energy into sports activities so as to enable the budding players to enhance their carrier as sportsperson of national as well as international fame, he added.
Khalsa FC chief further informed that the club would arrange sponsors for its ‘Keshadhari’ team to provide them best training, coaching and medical facilities besides free education and boarding for its players. Apart from this, Khalsa FC would make an endeavour to get affordable insurance plan for its footballers to cover the risk of any probable injuries or damages, inflicted on them during the competitions. Besides, players’ achievements would also be highlighted in all platforms of media so as they could explore fortuity in clubs having international fame, said Grewal.
He said, “Our underlying aim is to promote Sikhi saroop (pious Sikh personality) in sports”, adding he informed that Khalsa FC would honour the legendary Keshdhari sportspersons, footballers, coaches and technical officials besides philanthropists for their distinguished contributions during annual events. Besides this, winners and runner-up teams including their coaches would be honoured with awards carrying cash prizes during the Sikh Football Cup. The participating teams would get travelling allowance, certificates besides sports kits, jerseys and track suits free of cost.
Khalsa FC president said the Keshadhari teams in all 22 districts of Punjab and UT Chandigarh have already been selected during series of trials during first week of November in which sabat-soorat players have enthusiastically participated. He informed that more than 2200 footballers have participated in the week long series of selection trials held to select district level teams for the Sikh Football Cup in 23 different football stadiums of Punjab and Chandigarh. These Keshadhari teams would play matches at the football grounds of Punjab and Chandigarh during inter-district tournaments on the knock-out basis. The final match and closing ceremony would be held at secto 42, Football stadium, Chandigarh on February 8, added Grewal.