Ramboll UK’s annual five-a-side football tournament took place in heat-wave conditions at Battersea park this July. The Tulio Ferrari cup is named in memory of a former employee and has been keenly contested since 2002.
This year saw 16 teams from the London and Cambridge offices enter the draw, from beer swilling underdogs to increasingly red-faced contenders. Brave volunteers from the teams stepped up to referee the other games in their groups, with some dubious decisions and polite criticism from the sidelines. A special mention goes to rookie ref Finn Maidstone, whose failure to penalise a player who caught the ball in his hands to control it caused a paroxysm of bewildered complaints, which he duly ignored.
The tournament consisted of a group stage, followed by a plate and main knockout completion. The heat took its toll on all the players, not least London Director Alan bunting, who was heard expressing his surprise after learning that the goalkeeper may not pick the ball up outside the area.
Services London team, Bayern Neverlusen produced the golden goal winner, Rory Edwards with eleven goals, before losing in the quarter finals. If there was prize for best name though, they would have got my vote.
After four hours of running, kicking and shouting, the tournament concluded with London Structures Red retaining the Tulio Ferrari Cup for the second year in a row. Team captain Sam King was ‘chuffed’ at the win, congratulating his team on their hard work. The plate competition was won by another London team, Business Functions 2 (the unstoppable Farce), beating the jadedly named ‘Team Blue 3’.
The event was a huge success; the games were played in good spirits, nobody got heat-stroke and £540 was raised for charity. A tremendous thanks go to Mona Haghani, Jamie Clay and the social panel for their efforts in organising a flawless event. The tournament was played in the spirit of fair-play; there was no acrobatic diving, no swearing at the refs and no behind the hand comments. Which of course means that it probably wasn’t really football after all.