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Thursday, April 13, 2017


The 2017 edition of Greenland's national Futsal championship has been held in the western town of Maniitsoq over the weekend, and there is a new name on the trophy. One of Greenland's best outdoor teams of recent years, Nagdlúnguak-48, won their first-ever Futsal championship on 9 April when they defeated B-67 in a pulsating final by 5 goals to 3. It was also the club's first title - indoor or outdoor - since 2007, when they won the national (outdoor) championship. 

An exciting final was expected, and goals weren't long in coming; the club from Ilulissat went behind in the second minute, and conceded a second a couple of minutes later. They were level within a few minutes and added two more goals towards the end of the first half. B-67 were camped in the Nagdlúnguak-48 half for most of the second half, but they were denied time after time by a well-organised defence, and N-48 further increased their lead a few minutes before time. 

B-67 had removed their goalkeeper a few minutes earlier in an attempt to claw their way back into the match, and this left them vulnerable to N-48's counters. They paid the penalty when Kunuuteeraq Isaksen completed his hat-trick, but in the last minute, B-67 did finally score a third. It was an engrossing, entertaining final which proved to be the perfect showcase for Greenlandic Futsal. It was also the perfect revenge for N-48, who had been routed 5:0 by B-67 in the group stages.

Host club Kâgsagssuk, awarded the right to host the tournament due to it celebrating the 80th anniversary of its foundation, were backed by an exuberant home support, and this did them no harm as they reached the semi-finals, where they lost by the odd goal in five to B-67. Last year's champions, IT-79, defeated Kâgssagssuk by 6 goals to 2 in the group stage on their way to the semis, but there they were soundly beaten 5:2 by the team they thrashed in last year's final, Nagdlúnguak-48. Much had been expected of them after their triumph in the competition last year, but as in last year's outdoor competition, they were swept aside by more organised opposition.

The third-place play-off between Kâgssagssuk and IT-79 was a much closer affair than their encounter in Group B; in fact, the hosts might feel that they did enough to win, but they lost an entertaining encounter by 2:1. The match ended in some controversy, with Kâgssagssuk players and staff berating the match officials, seemingly feeling that the referee had blown for time early.

Earlier, Kugsak defeated K-1933 4:3 in the fifth-place play-off, in which K-1933's goalkeeper scored twice, the first being an unopposed solo run and shot which flew into the net. T-41 were 6:0 up at the break in their seventh-place play-off against K-64, and kept up the onslaught in the second half, eventually running out 13:4 winners. The play-off for ninth place was won by NÛK, who defeated FC Malamuk 2:1 in the first match to be played on the final day.

Two days after the tournament, controversy of a more unsavoury kind came to light, courtesy of an article on the KNR website, which is run by the national television station of the same name, which stated that B-67 (and Greenland) manager Tekle Ghebrelul had suffered racial abuse after his side's semi-final victory over Kâgssagssuk. Disturbingly, the article also mentioned that it was not the first time that Ghebrelul, who comes from Eritrea and has lived in Greenland for 14 years, has been the victim of racism in the country; he had previously been targeted at the 2012 national championship in Aasiaat, together with several Danes. Also, it alleged that Danish players - or Greenlanders of Danish descent - had also previously been racially abused during and after matches. Later, GBU president John Thorsen felt compelled to address the spectators at the Maniitoq Hallen and rightly condemned what had taken place.

On the plus side, the tournament highlighted the continued improvement of standards in Greenland since the GBU ditched the old Indoor Soccer rules and began organising Futsal tournaments. In an article on the Sermitsiaq website, Ghebrelul was complimentary of a number of the teams, especially the new champions Nagdlúnguak-48 and in particular the Reimer twins, Nick and Lars-Erik (where have we seen them mentioned before?), but also about T-41 and Kugsak-45. He was also of the opinion that Greenland are good enough to attain FIFA membership. 

The GBU joining FIFA may yet come to pass, but not just yet. When that day comes, however, the GBU may well be able to send out a Futsal team capable of surprising a few more experienced national teams. They are certainly on the right track, and who's to say that several of the players performing at this year's tournament will not go on to bigger and better things?

GROUP A (B-67, K-1933, Nagdlúnguak-48, NÛK, T-41)

06/04/17 Nagdlúnguak-48 8:2 NÛK
06/04/17 B-67 3:1 K-1933
07/04/17 Nagdlúnguak-48 4:2 T-41
07/04/17 NÛK 0:1 B-67
07/04/17 K-1933 2:2 T-41
08/04/17 Nagdlúnguak-48 0:5 B-67
08/04/17 NÛK : K-1933
08/04/17 B-67 9:1 T-41
08/04/17 Nagdlúnguak-48 8:6 K-1933
08/04/17 NÛK 5:9 T-41


GROUP B (FC Malamuk, IT-79, K-64, Kâgssagssuk, Kugsak-45)

06/04/17 FC Malamuk 4:5 K-64
06/04/17 Kâgssagssuk 2:6 IT-79
07/04/17 FC Malamuk 1:5 Kugsak-45
07/04/17 K-64 5:8 Kâgssagssuk
07/04/17 IT-79 3:3 Kugsak-45
08/04/17 FC Malamuk 3:6 Kâgssagssuk
08/04/17 K-64 3:6 IT-79
08/04/17 Kâgssagssuk 3:2 Kugsak-45 
08/04/17 FC Malamuk 0:2 IT-79
08/04/17 K-64 6:15 Kugsak-45


09/04/17 Kâgssagssuk 2:3 B-67
09/04/17 Nagdlúnguak-48 5:2 IT-79


09/04/17 NÛK 2:1 FC Malamuk


09/04/17 T-41 13:4 K-64


09/04/17 K-1933-3:4 Kugsak-45


09/04/17 IT-79 2:1 Kâgssagssuk


09/04/17 B-67 3:5 Nagdlúnguak-48


Malik MIKKAELSEN (IT-79); Lars-Erik REIMER (Nagdlúnguak-48), Kunuuteeraq ISAKSEN (Nagdlúnguak-48), John Ludvig BROBERG (B-67), Nicklas THORLEIFSEN (B-67)

TOP SCORER: Bent PIVAT (K-64) - 12 goals
BEST PLAYER: Lars-Erik REIMER (Nagdlúnguak-48)  

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Elements of the above information were gleaned from Sermitsiaq (including several results and the GBU's awards, listed above), KNR and various Facebook pages. 

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