LOCALLY based veterans football club – International Football Club (IFC) – will be taking their tournament to another new destination this year – Krabi, Thailand.
The 9th International Football Club (IFC) Football 9s 2017, will be held at the holiday destination over the weekend of Sept 22nd and 23rd at the Krabi Power Plant grounds in collaboration with Thailand Authority of Tourism (TAT).
IFC are the only club in Malaysia who have a proud tradition of having brought their tournament to be hosted overseas in Asia.
IFC true to the name of the club, after the initial two years of hosting at home at their borrowed ‘home ground’ – Club Aman, they decided to venture out to host a Malaysian tournament aboard and hosted its first overseas tournament in Hangzhou, China in 2011. This was followed by in Pattaya, Thailand in 2012 and Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2014 and 2016.
In 2015, IFC achieved another first when they brought the tournament to East Malaysia and hosted it in Kota Kinabalu.
This year they have picked Krabi, the capital of southern Thailand’s Krabi Province, a resort town near the Andaman coast and indeed the town is going to be abuzz with the football festivity in the air.
Although the IFC tournament is only nine-years-old, the club has a history dating back to 1969 when it was registered 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’s first-secretary.
Datuk Douglas Webster (the life time patron of IFC) after playing for an opposing team against the German FC, was invited to play for the latter’s team when were short of player for their subsequent match.
And the rest was history as gradually the founding members left Malaysia and Webster took charge of the club and eventually 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 Carl Heinz Weigang who was the Malaysian National Football Coach and 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 past vice president Vinn Kiriwan, through his sports equipment connections and ex -captain Ho Hon Seong, himself an ex-International player.
This year IFC members will be celebrating their football festivity with a tinge of sadness as they will be missing their president, Steve Krupa, who has been the live-wire of the tournament as their official master of ceremony and going by his nickmame “Captain Bullshit” who passed away after a short illness earlier this year.
But organising chairman, Kiranjt Singh said: “Steve would have wanted it no other way but the tournament to go on and celebrate his passing away and remember the memorable times with him.
“We dedicate this year’s tournament in memory of Steve. We are going to miss him, but the show will go on.”
“We are a unique club. True to its name, we are comprised of both local and foreign players. Besides, we are the only Malaysia club who host our local tournament overseas,” added Kiranjit.
IFC has not played in any league for the last 27 years but has played in numerous tournaments in Malaysia and many countries overseas.
IFC as a social football club’s main objective is “friendship thru’ football”.
Through the years the tournament has seen teams coming from USA, Australia, South Africa, Macau, China, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia and of course Malaysia.
The tournament has seen a number of Malaysia’s football legends with some playing actively and others gracing the event. Household names like Datuk Soh Chin Aun, Datuk Santokh Singh, Datuk Chen Wooi Haw, Ho Hon Seong, Khan Hung Meng, Yap Kam Choon, Wong Kam Fook, Yip Chee Keong, Looi Loon Teck, Zainal Nordin, Chee Wan Hoe, Chow Siew Yai, V. Kalimutu, A. Jayakanthan, Jayaprakash Supramaniam, Azrul Amri Bin Burhan, M. Chandran and not forgetting the late Wong Choon Wah to name a few are those that have constantly participated.
This year will see 16 teams competing including defending champions from China – Century Lucky Star.
IFC as host have yet to win the championship, but has emerged the Plate Champions in 2014.
The closest the host came to becoming champions was in the inaugural tournament in 1999 when they finished runners-up losing to Wednesday FC.
Other foreign teams include Qantas from Australia, Brickwok Boyz from Singapore, Banngok Airways, Krabi United and BigFoot Kickers from Thailand and Shanghai Lanyin FC from China.
Regular teams from Malaysia include Kelab Aman, KL Wednesday, IRC (Seremban), Sri Muda, RSC, Kilat, Club SC Malacca and My World.
The two days tournament will be played on a round robin format and moving into knock-out phase separated by a winner and loser’s pool. Players are aged 40 and above.
IFC besides just hosting tournaments overseas also carry out their social responsibilities by going charity work.
In 2015 they do raised funds during their tournament to be donated toards the Ranau earthquake fund while in Cambodia in both tournaments they again raised substantial amount for donation to a hospital and this year will b raising funds for the Krabi Special Education Center.
Names of clubs competing:
|8||Shanghai Lanyin FC|
|13||Club SC Malacca|
|14||Century Lucky Star (Defending Champion)|
2016 Century Lucky Star (China) Phnom Penh, Cambodia
2015 Sabah Mix Kota Kinabalu Sabah
2014 Bangkok Airways Phnom Phem Cambodia
2013 Kelab Aman Kuala Lumpur
2012 Kilat Veterans Pattaya, Thailand
2011 Uniplast KL Hangzhou, China
2010 Uniplast KL Kuala Lumpur
2009 KL Wednesday Kuala Lumpur