Eighteen teams made of French and expatriates from all countries took part in the AMISCA indoor football tournament. Following very tight games, the final was played between two Romanian teams and crowned the town of Certeze.
The AMISCA (Cultural and sport association of the embassies) indoor football tournament is now an established event in the sporting calendar of expats living in Paris. Its 9th version took place on March 2nd in the Pierre de Coubertin stadium and gathered 18 teams representing countries, foreign or French towns and associations.
[ Contacts ]
- Participating teams
11 Quai François Mauriac, 75013 Paris
Tel : 0637512746
Some were participating for the first time such as Slovakia, Kazakhstan and the Licra (League against Racism and anti-Semitism). Made of six players, including a goalie, at 9.00 am these teams kicked off for a series of 12 minute long games. A duration that may seem a little short but the games are more intense and played at higher speed than outdoor ones. Breaks are rare and brief, and the ball goes quickly from one side to the other.
To begin with the teams were divided into groups of 4 or 5 for mini championships to decide who would take part in the knockout stages. With only two teams being eliminated during this first round, the morning was mainly the opportunity for players to have fun, get to know the pitch, learn how to play together and to size up the strengths and weaknesses of the other teams.
After the lunch break it was time to get serious with the second round and the start of the knockout games. And some big matches were already on the agenda with Cameroon – Senegal and Ciociari – Colombia. That woke up the spectators and heated up the atmosphere in the stands. As for the games, they became tenser and more contested, which led sometimes to some nervous irritation. But, thanks to the referees’ ability and quick reactions everything kept running smoothly with good spirit and conviviality. Apart from Ciociari and Cameroon, all the favourites reached the quarterfinals as well as Slovakia. A great performance for a first participation but the team couldn’t make it to the semi finals, beaten by Senegal.
Unesco also made it to the last four, after a very tight game against Colombia, as did Romania, and Certeze a town from the same country. Two teams with a similar style of play, with fast attacks and a very solid defensive block backed by a good goalie.
This combination of strengths was once again decisive in the semi finals. Against the very skilful players from Senegal, Certeze scored quickly then sat back and and let their opponents attack before scoring a second goal on the counter shortly before the final whistle. Facing the very experienced and tactical Unesco team, Romania had a tougher job. In a very tight game there were few clear opportunities to score and the only goal came through a stroke of luck. Having played a cautious and defensive game up until that point Unesco then pushed everything into attack and came within a hair’s breadth of equalizing.
So it was an all-Romanian final that concluded the tournament at the end of the afternoon. A completely crazy game with both teams going all out in attack that ended 6 – 4 to Certeze. After three early goals, the Romanian town looked set for an easy win but Romania came back to one goal behind and both teams then scored in quick succession keeping the suspense alive till the end.
As for the third spot, it went to Unesco who beat Senegal 2-1 after a more classical game with little space for the forwards. As usual, the day ended up with the trophy presentation ceremony followed by a drink for players, spectators and referees. Some could meet again before next year as the AMISCA will be organizing a June tournament between teams representing the States qualified for the Euro 2008.
Mars 14, 2008