IFC tourney goes overseas again

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THE International Football Club (IFC) after celebrating its existence for 50 years last year where they brought the annual tournament back home, will this year host the tournament overseas again.

 The 11th Soccer 9s Tournament 2019 will be held on April 20th in Tonglu County, Hangzhou, in China.

 This veteran football club has a proud history and only club true to its name takes its tournament overseas.

 After last year’s 50th anniversary celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, IFC once again are on the road and have picked to return to Hangzhou where they hosted the tournament in 2011 – their first overseas tournament.

 But this year with the collaboration of the Hangzhou Tourism & Sports Council and Tonglu City Council, the tournament will be held at the Tonglu County – about an hour’s drive from Hangzhou.

 IFC president Kiranjit Singh, said that it was not easy for a Malaysian based veteran football club to host a tournament overseas and had to thank his hardworking and committed organising committee for having done all the groundwork and arrangements to make this a reality.

“This is not the first time we are bringing he tournament away from Kuala Lumpur and doing it for the sixth time in our history of the eleven-year tournament is indeed a feat to be proud off,” said Kiranjit.

“And we are also thankful to the Malaysian based teams to continuously support our tournament both at home and overseas.”

For this year, there will six teams from from China and seven teams from Malaysia, one team from Cambodia and one team from Singapore.

The International Football Club of Kuala Lumpur was first registered in 1969 by a group of German expatriates and was originally named The German Football Club of Kuala Lumpur. The Club’s first registered address was the German Embassy and the first President was the Embassy First Secretary. At that time, they had exactly 11 players and the Captain suffered a broken arm in a game where he collided with Datuk Douglas Webster (the Patron of IFC). As a result, they were forced to open their membership to non-Germans.

Douglas Webster was therefore persuaded into becoming replacement for the injured captain in the team. Gradually the founding members left Malaysia and the Club became truly international which prompted the change of name to The International Football Club. The Club’s early years saw an influx of talented players, many through the introduction of the late Karl Heinz Weigang, who was then the Malaysian National Football Coach. Weigang was the first Coach/Captain of IFC. Through his influence, the club had several past and present Internationals and State players as regular members.

The friendly connection with the National and State football associations has been closely maintained by the former vice president Vinn Kiriwan, through his sports equipment connections and former Coach/Captain and current Special Advisor, Ho Hon Seong, himself an ex-International player.

IFC have made a name and mark among veteran teams in Malaysia having won notable tournament like being three times the Bangkok Senior World Cup Champions, The Royal Selangor Club Veterans annual tournament, the Phuket Annual International Tournament and many others.

IFC is very proud of the fact that the club has always had a long waiting list of footballers wanting to join the club. This is despite the fact that IFC does not have a field or Club House of its own and the strict racial quotas practiced by the club, to ensure a truly International and inter racial blend, in the spirit of which this great country of Malaysia was formed.

In 2009, in conjunction with its 40 years’ anniversary, the club had organised its inaugural IFC 9s Veteran Soccer Tournament with the aim to promote active lifestyle among the ex-footballers and create a platform to meet up annually.

The tournament was well received and the Club decided to organise this yearly tournament in different destinations so that the participating teams can travel and visit other cultures and people, sampling the local delicacies besides enjoying their favourite sport. This has made IFC the only club in Malaysia who has hosted a soccer tournament beyond its own shore and IFC still carry the record until to date. Among the overseas cities that hosted IFC 9s Veteran Soccer Tournament were Hangzhou (2011), Pattaya (2012), Phnom Penh (2014 & 2016) and Krabi (2017).

 The Club currently has 45 members with about 30 members are actively playing football in Kelab Aman field on every Saturday.

IFC besides just organising tournaments, since 2014 they have made their tournament even more meaningful by doing their bit for charity where they raise money to be donated to charitable organisations in each venue they compete.      

Among the donations they have made include Kelantan flood victims (2014), Bopha Hospital in Phnom Penh (2016) and orphanage home in Krabi, Thailand (2017).

Indeed, IFC have made a name for themselves both on and off the field.

Since their 50th anniversary tournament last year, IFC have introduced a second category to their tournament – the Grand Master Category (49yrs & above).

The original category for the Master Category will be for players 39 years and above.

For the Masters category, a total 14 teams will be competing this year, while for the Grand Master category will see four teams compete.

Former national player from Selangor and current national assistant coach Khan Hung Meng had graciously donated the challenge trophy for Grand Masters category last year, while the Master category will battle for the Datuk Doug Webster trophy.

Participating teams in the 11th IFC 9s Veteran Soccer Tournament in Tonglu

Master Category (39 years & above) 

  1. Hangzhou (A)
  2. Interaction Recreation Club, Seremban
  3. Guangzhou Heng Fu FC
  4. X Kilat FC
  5. Jarum Football Club
  6. Shanghai Lanyin
  7. Blanco Suzuka FC
  8. Brickworkz Boy Singapore
  9. Perak Chinese Recreation Club

10.Cambodia Xikang FC

11.Hangzhou FC (B)

  1. Hangzhou FC (C)

 

Grand Master Category (49 years & above)

  1. Sri Muda FC
  2. Perak Chinese Recreation Club
  3. Royal Selangor Club
  4. International Football Club (IFC)
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