The young football team of DFA Udaipur has created history by entering the finals of the Mohan Kumar Manglam National Football Tournament for the first time in 43 years.
In the semi-final played today evening, DFA Udaipur trounced Dehradun by 3 goals to nil. The final will be played at 3pm on 30 January, where DFA Udaipur will play Delhi XI for the coveted 43rd MKM Football Trophy. Notably, the MKM Football tournament is the biggest national level football tournament and is being held in Zawar Mines, since 1976.
The first half of the semi final today went goalless, as both team attacked without any success. However, as the team re-grouped at half-time, it was Udaipur who showed aggression and the 6th minutess into the second half witnessed the first goal of the match, which was netted by Ranu Singh (Jersey #8). This was followed by a counter-attack from Udaipur and the Dehradun defender conceded a penalty. The penalty kick was effortlessly shot into the nets by Aman Khan, which increased the lead for Udaipur.
In the 73rd minute, an excellent pass by Riyaz allowed Adnan (Jersey #5) to net home the third goal for Udaipur, all but sealing the fate for Dehradun.
The overjoyed Secretary of the Udaipur District Football Association, Shakeel Ahmed, in his interaction with UdaipurTimes, apprecicated the players and the team management, viz. selectors Firoz Khan and Janak Singh and coach Narendra Soni. Shakeel added that 7 players of the DFA Udaipur team have been trained extensively at the Hindustan Zinc Football Academy for the past 4 years. The Hindustan Zinc XI team was the other team from Udaipur to participate in the tournament, which saw a total of 18 club participations from across India.
It is the biggest national level sports competition organised at Udaipur, according to Dilipsingh Shekhawat, Secretary of Rajasthan Football Association. This is the 43rd edition of the MKM competition and is held as a memorial to former Union Minister for Steel and Mines, Mohan Kumar Mangalam. It was in October 1972 that the then Union Minister, Mohan Kumar Mangalam visited Zawar Mines. In May 1973, Mangalam expired and from 1976 onwards, the football tournament in his memory is being organised at Zawar Mines by Hindustan Zinc Ltd and the Zawar Mines Labour Union. THE HZL XI team won the first edition of the tournament in 1976.
The last MKM Football competition was held in 2020, before the COVID lockdown was imposed. In 2014 and 2016, the approval was not recieved from the Environment Ministry for organising the competiition in Zawar Mines. The MKM Trophy is currently held by Sikh Regiment, Jalandhar, who beat Indian Air Force, New Delhi, in the 42nd edition of the tournament in 2020.
List of Teams winning the MKM Football Tournament since 1976 is as follows:
|1976||Hindustan Zinc XI|
|1977||Rajasthan Police, Bikaner|
|1983||ASC Centre, Bangalore|
|1985||ASC Centre, Bangalore|
|1986||Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited (RCF), Mumbai|
|1988||Garhwal Heroes FC|
|1989||Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited (RCF), Mumbai|
|1990||Students FC, Delhi|
|1993||Border Security Force|
|1994||Punjab State Electricity Board|
|1995||Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala|
|1996||Border Security Force|
|1997||Border Security Force|
|2000||Kerala Financial Corporation|
|2001||National Aluminium Company (NALCO), Bhubaneswar|
|2002||Border Security Force|
|2003||Border Security Force|
|2004||Border Security Force|
|2005||Indian Air Force|
|2007||Corps of Signal|
|2008||Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala|
|2009||Lt. B Choudhary & Zawar Mines|
|2010||J&K Police, Jammu|
|2011||Uttarakhand Police, Dehradun|
|2012||Union Bank of India|
|2017||Kerala Police FC|
|2019||Gorkha Brigade, Lucknow|
|2020||Sikh Regiment, Jalandhar|