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The UFA Champions League

The Underground Football Association Champions League, one of the biggest and most anticipated events of Underground Football, was held at the Banani Blues Field from July 2 July 6, 2009.

It was due to time constraints for which only thirty-two teams could be taken in this season. Champions of the UFA Cup 2009 [Vampires], UFA Champions League - III [FC Gibraltar], UFA Youth Nations Cup 2008 [FC UnderGround], LEO Charity Shield 2008 [SWAT] and LEO Charity Shield 2009 [9.0] participated in this fifth season of UFA Champions League along with the other well experienced teams like Nerazzurri, Absolution, Dementors, Hell Raisers FC, FC Poison, Fuller Road FC, Racing Ravens and Soccer Messiahs.

The chosen thirty-two teams were divided into 8 groups (4 per group) from which the top two winning teams from each group qualified to the knockout stage. Another match took place next amongst the sixteen teams and then the winners advanced to the Quarterfinal, the Semifinals and eventually the Finals.

On the day of the inauguration of the event, it seemed as though teams like SWAT, FC UnderGround, 9.0, Gibraltar, and Vampires had a huge fan following and were most expected to proceed to the next stage. But surprisingly, the match took a twist and SWAT lost to Vampires and 9.0 lost to Dementors in the Quarterfinals. After that, it was FC UnderGround, Vampires, Dementors, and Hell Raisers who emerged as winners and made their way to the Semifinal round.

On the day of the UFA Champions league semifinal, another competitive encounter had been expected between FCUG and Vampires. But alas, it looked like “luck” had not been in FCUG's favor for they lost to Hell Raisers FC in penalty shootouts. They had been given two chances to score but unfortunately, they had missed both the shots which allowed the Hell Raisers to take perfect advantage of the situation- and that is exactly what they did. As a result, Hell Raisers made their way to the final round along with the Vampires (who had won against the Dementors in the Semifinals).

The final match was not as entertaining as it had been expected to be because neither team had been able to score by the time the referee had blown the final whistle. As a result, Hell Raisers FC, having won their entire knockout matches in penalty shootouts, once again succeeded to keep the scores level and take the Vampires to their favorite penalty spot. And this time, the Hell Raisers found their way to heaven, as they did not fail to win their final match in penalties as well. Thus, they were crowned the champions of The UFA Champions League V. Along with the Champions and Runners-up, 5 individuals also received honors from the UFA: Daiyan (Top Scorer - FCUG), Rasheed (Best Defender - FCUG), Evran (Player of the Tournament Dementors), Imran (Best Play Maker Vampires) and Ridwan (Best Goal Keeper Gibraltar).

Overall, the tournament was not only proved to be entertaining, but also a very successful one as it helped discover and give exposure to some new talented teams and individuals in Underground football. The UFA has a huge list of tournaments for this season, and promises to introduce more ideas and events in Underground Football.

By Nayeema Reza and Majedul Huq

Who are you?

"I was made fun of a lot when I was younger. I think I suffer from self-esteem issues and a bit of identity crisis. Is it really okay for me to be totally myself in public/to others? I'm worried about being myself because I'm afraid people will look at me thinking I'm weird, make fun of me. I can never really loosen up and be myself or talk freely. How can I change this so that I can loosen up to be myself, be able to have casual conversations with strangers, be confident about myself, and not be concerned with how others react?”

Sometimes you see these words in magazines; sometimes you hear them from your classmates or may be somewhere, somehow in the twisted path of your life you yourself thought like this. As a teen in twenty-first century, identity and self-esteem crisis is a very common issue. Finding your true identity and authentic self can be tricky because our culture any culture rewards conformity, normal behaviour, and blending in with the crowd. So is it a bad thing to stand aside from the norm because you want to be unique, is it a misdeed that you want to be different? No, it is not.

Black t-shirt with matching nail polish, extreme pink spilling all over or failed attempt to be a Blondie with highlighted hair, you can see any of these very often, people trying to make a statement. Teens like it, parents are worried about it and teachers don't say anything. Is it your true nature or with different shades of colours you try to hide yourself? It is up to you to decide.

One of the biggest problems people have with their personal identity is that they may not accept or may be blind to who they are and what they believe. Most of us today suffer from this to a certain extent because society seems to want us to behave and live in ways which may not be exactly what we want. Your self esteem and identity depends on you being yourself and if you live true to your nature and values you will help yourself. Ignoring who you are is a recipe for pain and misery.

But it is not hard to find out the true nature hidden in you. You just have to ask yourself some simple questions. Who are you? What makes you unique? What are your values? What is your internal identity? How you see yourself in relation to others? And what is your personal goal?

It is up to you to find these answers. And no one can help you unless you are ready to help your self. So listen to your gut. To find your authentic self, put other people's expectations aside. What do you think, feel, and want? One way to find your true identity and honour self-improvement is to know you DO care what people think and listen to your gut anyway. You have responsibilities to live up to, but you can still find yourself. Just stay in touch with your dreams and goals.

And finally, take risks. Trust yourself to reach out to others. Let yourself be vulnerable but still keep your head on your shoulders and don't be afraid to make waves. Try new things, especially when you're afraid, and find creative solutions to your problems.

Finding your true identity and being yourself is the greatest gift you can give to your family, friends, and the world. So don't try to hide who you are and just be yourself.

By Zabir Hasan

Tale of fairy toys

One night my parents went outside and they were little late due to traffic jam. I took my toys and started playing with them. Dinosaurs, Superman, Batman, Army and my favourite Jerry. While playing, I started a fight between Superman and the Army. Suddenly I saw Superman started to shoot lasers from his eyes and whispered, “I am from Krypton….I am from Krypton…”

I looked at the toy in great surprise. At the same time I saw Jerry making faces at me. It made me very nervous. Then two toys came forward and said “We are your friends, let us go to a miracle world !

Superman put me on his back and Jerry climbed up on my shoulder and we started to fly up and up and entered a bushy green world. We entered a city named “Greenland”. Everything, houses, shops, markets, and schools, was made of green grasses. After some time we found tiny people, who were all very hard working. They were planting yard after yard with green grasses and leaves to make their city green and healthy. I thought it would be nice if we could make our country green and healthy like “Greenland.“

Suddenly, I felt big jerking and within a minute “Greenland” disappeared and we were surrounded by a big ice-ball. Jerry cried out “ Hurrah ! This is an Ice-City, How nice; e can play with snowballs. Though we were surrounded by an ice ball, we did not feel any cold. Superman uttered, “More adventure is coming soon.” Superman took us in an ice-cream shop where all ice creams are free for the children. My joys knew no bounds when I saw different types of colourful ice-cream like Lollypop, Candy, Kulfi and more that I had never seen before. Jerry looked like a balloon before long. Besides the ice-cream shop we saw a park full of Ice-Toys like Slipper, Marry-Go-Round, Roller Coaster. Jerry and I ran into the park and started to play with the ice-toys. We saw in this Ice-City everything free for the children. They get education, books, food, and toys free of cost. I was so amazed and thought if all children, specially poor children of my country could receive get free education, free food they can lead better life. I have planned to tell this idea of Ice-City to our principal.

Then Superman took us on his back and started to fly again. We passed through the blue and black cloud. We went nearer to Sun and I asked the Sun, “How do you spread your light all over the world?” He replied, my friend, “Always think big, make your heart big, try to do good for everybody, then you will be able to spread light of Love, Honesty and Happiness all over the world like me.” Really I was inspired by his noble words.

I got a big jerking sensation again and felt that I was sat on my bed, where I had started to play with my toys. My parents entered the house. I ran and sat on my mom's lap. I took my two toys, Superman and Jerry, hugged them and put them beside me and went to sleep. Maybe new adventure comes at night…

By Shafeen Mahmood


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