Vroom… and it’s a goal

Youngsters from Rustom Baug, Byculla will be playing football with gearless two-wheelers, this Sunday

Boys playing football barefoot in maidans is a frequent sight one would witness during the monsoon, in the city. But now the Parsis in the city have given a new definition to the game. For the first time in the history of football, the game will be played using a two-wheeler.

Materialising this idea of Rustam Patel and his dad Kersi Patel youngsters from Rustom Baug, Byculla will be playing football with gearless two-wheelers and helmets strapped for protection, this Sunday. “We use gearless bikes as they will be easier to manoeuvre – participants need not bother about changing the gears every two minutes,” said Rustam Patel who has organised this competition along with his dad. “My dad – Kersi Patel and me, thought of playing football with two-wheelers around four years ago. But then we decided to wait until the World Cup, and then have an all Parsi football competition with two wheelers,” said Rustam Patel.

So come Sunday, Parsi men and boys with be zooming in the 400 meters circular ground, knocking the ball through lush green grass. “Since it’s the rainy season the grass will grow soon. Hence, even if the grass gets uprooted during the match there won’t be any objection from the residents.” said Rustam.

The Patels are sponsoring everything in the whole event. “We have a two wheeler garage – RNZ. So we will lend out gearless two-wheelers to the participants,” said Rustam. RNZ has prepared 14 second-hand bikes (two extra incase of any mishaps) complete with numbers painted on them, for the competition.

So far eight teams have already registered for the competition (paying Rs. 2500 for per team).

As far as the rules for the game goes, it’s, “No hands can be used. And all participants have to have a two-wheelers license for this match,” said Rustam, who has asked the participants to submit a photocopy of their two-wheeler license.

The competition will be a knock out and the teams who loose will be eliminated. The game will start at 9:00 am

and will continue till 5:00 pm on Sunday. The duration of each match will last for 20 minutes.

All the participants seem game for the competition. “Prior to the World Cup, on television I saw some team playing football with four-wheelers. Nonetheless, I am quite kicked about playing with a two-wheeler,” said Eric Bacha, Vice Captain, Vasai 11.

“My team has played conventional football, but we haven’t ever tried playing football with two-wheelers before. All of us stay in a boys hostel at Tardeo. So today evening, we have decided to practice with two-wheelers on the hostel ground,” said 23-year-old Eric.

“We too have a ground, but no two-wheelers to practice with,” said Sammy Patel, Captain, Malcom Baug Football Team. “We came to know about this competition last week. And except for our team’s football jerseys, we are not planning on donning any rain gear. I also wanted to take some boys who are younger than 18 as they play quite well. But considering the Rustom Baug has kept the rule that participants should have a license, we will not take these youngsters in this team,” informed 24-year-old Sammy.

“None of my team is underage, so I don’t have any problem,” said 30-year-old Farzad Engineer, a member of the Navroze Baug team. Meanwhile, the annual football competition (without bikes) will take place in August.

Original article here