A noble cause and the passion for football brightened a rainy Saturday and brought laughs and excitement to the children from the Concordia football club, their elderly rivals and sponsors from A Data Pro and a crowd of fans on a football stadium in Mladost, Sofia. The football tournament was organised by the boys of the company to support the charity foundation Concordia Bulgaria and its football club. The club was set up last year to help children from vulnerable communities get a good start in life and integrate through sport.

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Commentary of the football tournament by George Auad

The first (mind you, not the last) #footbaLOL tournament surpassed all expectations and managed to overshadow all the crazy stuff that happened during the regular football season in Europe.

A few words about the teams

      1. Jivko Carries Us All – A team built around Jivko (of course) and Rado, with the game plan to devastate the opposing team by pairing the ADPIEM (the corporate team) top assists-mastermind with the “running around like a headless fly” style of Jivko. With laid-back additions to the squad, such as Yazho and Vanchev, whose sole intent was to put their mitts on the beer & pizza.
      2. The Vitosha Kashkavals – The best & brightest, whose anthem is Adelle’s “Hello from the Other Side”, led by three of ADPIEM regulars – Pesho, Ivan and Ivo, as well as back-heel legend Valtze. As their captain put it: “This is our secret – we have no game plan! We are always this erratic!” It is still unclear why the team came up with the name, however, Shumkov’s frequent social media outbursts (went as far as to post an article on the SEERenewables site!) made it clear he is not at all happy with the name.
      3. The recently rebranded to VAT69 IT team! The surprise of the tournament! Affectionately known as The Rock, a name that best describes their manoeuvrability around the pitch. Led by team-captain Vlado, who resembles a fast tank when on the offensive, and some special additions, who have never been seen on the green pitch, such as support masters Miloslav and Dido, the forever learning (he actually was reading a book!) Nikolaos The Greek! As well as ADPIEM’s own Sasho, the wrecking ball (again – an alias based on manoeuvrability).
      4. The Irrelevants – the best of the rest. With an unqualified manager, a rather indifferent captain – Anton and the latest addition – a Hungarian box-to-box midfielder, who doesn’t speak Bulgarian, and the brightest star in ADPIEM – Valio Vasilev. The purpose of the squad was unclear throughout the tournament, however, the team’s spirit and some tactical brilliance (Pass the ball to Valio!), as well as the lousy play of the rest of the teams saw The Irrelevants crowned as champions.

The final standings

      1. Concordia
      2. The Irrelevants
      3. VAT69/IT
      4. Jivko Carries Us All
      5. The Vitosha Kashkavals

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The craziest and most entertaining game was the final “Winner takes it all match” between the Irrelevants and Concordia. Although starting on a high note with a couple of lightning fast goals which left the young prospects from Concordia stunned, the Irrelevants somehow managed to lose the game and their hard earned trophy. The young thunderbolts from Concordia showed that their fast pace, stamina, agility and tactics are far above to what the Irrelevants are used to.

In the first game the Irrelevants proved that even in the absence of their secret weapon (our CEO Ilia Krastev) the team can handle its own. They pulled through their first game, drawing with the pleasant, albeit sometimes rough surprise – VAT69/IT.

In the second game of the day the Jivko Carries Us All team, named after their star forward, were determined to prove that the team’s name is not just a joke, with Jivko scoring two goals against the the Vitosha Kashkavals. Stellar performances by Jivko and Rado lifted the team in what turned out to be their best game of the tournament.

In match #3 the Vitosha Kashkavals managed to give battle to the would-be champions – the Irrelevants. Throughout the game, both teams were neck and neck, nip and tuck, however in the end, the Kashkavals, as they are affectionately called by their fans, fell behind and recorded a second loss.

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The surprise of the season VAT69/IT gave a football lesson to Jivko Carries Us All. Pundits have dubbed the VAT69/IT ”the hipster Leicester City FC”, and with a good reason. Without any hesitation the “outside bet” managed to negate the god-like football powers of Jivko and handed his namesake team their first loss in the tournament.

The loss affected negatively the team and in the first half of their game against the Irrelevants they crumbled and were losing 3:0. Jivko showed up again to score the consolation goal for his team, but it proved insufficient and the team quickly turned against him.

The tie-breaking game pitted the would-be-champions-if-they-win team of VAT69/IT against the unpleasant surprise – the Vitosha Kashkavals. Despite the horrific tackles, the  Kashkavals managed to hold the VAT69/IT to a draw.

Although the bad weather chilled attendance and it was below the 35,000 strong that were expected, the fans were cheerful and chants were almost non-stop. Raya Grigorova and Borko Ankov were vocal and managed to lift up the spirits by singing:

“Forget the football! We’re going to the opera!”

They did not mention, however, what performance they were heading to. Congrats to all participants – good game for a good cause!