The much anticipated annual Viking Cup 2011 kicked off yesterday,Thursday 21 April, with a welcome party with buffet dinner and drinks at the Pullman King Power Hotel.
After a time of merriment and mingling, each team showcased a video presentation and group drawing for the tournament.
The matches started today, at 9.30am at the Harrow’s International School football pitch. With each team competing against each other, it was a time of encouragement, frustration and intense focus.
The 10 teams participating this year are Bangkok Vikings (Team 1 and 2), Beijing Vikings, Hong Kong Vikings (Team 1 and 2), Jakarta Vikings, Kuala Lumpur (KL) Vikings, Shanghai Vikings, Singapore Vikings and Sing-Jing Vikings.
Each match lasted 20 minutes the first half and then another 20 minutes the second half.
The excitement heightened as the Team 1 Bangkok Vikings played against 2010 Viking Cup winners, the KL Vikings.
Cries of support and encouragement could be heard from not only the spectators but also the players on other teams. The competing teams were seen to be ferociously fighting to dominate possession over the ball when the KL Vikings scored their first goal.
Although downcast, the Bangkok Vikings did not allow their disappointment to discourage them. Both teams continued to play hard and when the Bangkok Vikings finally scored after half time making the final score a tie of 1-1.
It was a good time of letting loose and getting drowned in the game for the players. Even the increasingly hot and humid weather could not deter the players’ spirit from trying to score a goal.
Some of the players and spectators had flown in to Bangkok from different continents particularly for the tournament . This clearly showed their commitment for the game and win.
As a normality for sports, some players, due to the rush and focus on the ball, were injured. The leg injuries, though not too serious, were enough to put many of them on the bench unable to play at all the rest of the game.
After another round of matches, the final match of the entire tournament will take place tomorrow, 23 April. As a celebration, a Gala Dinner will be held in the evening from 7 pm onwards at the Pullman King Power Hotel.
At this dinner there will be some entertainment for the guests, the awards ceremony and the much anticipated Beer Drinking Competition, which some even see as the sole purpose of the tournament.
The event will go on until Sunday 24 April end with a farewell brunch and information about Viking Cup 2012.
Photos by Vinai Dithajohn