Kicking off football tournament for drug awareness

On 8 January 2020, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board kicked off the year with a football tournament to raise awareness on drugs in Thailand. This is the second time the Friendship Futsal Games take place, and it has even attracted a few Scandinavian players.

The Scandinavian players on the FANC team. Norwegian Julie Berg Melfald and Lars Brøske played side by side with Swedish Max Lenormand. The Norwegians scored two goals each, securing four of the team’s five goals.

For the second year in a row, the sixth floor of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) in Bangkok was opened for an indoor footbal tournament to raise awareness on drugs in Thailand. The 2020 Friendship Futsal Games will be challenging participants in the well-known ball game for three consecutive Wednesdays. The finale is on Friday 7 February 2020.

On the first day of the games, and for the very first game that day, on 8 January 2020, the hosts played against the Foreign Anti Narcotic and Crime Community of Thailand (FANC).

The ONCB team consisted of Thai personnel of all ages, yet leaning more towards the older ages. With a goalie from New Zealand and players from all over the world including Norway, Sweden and Italy, the FANC team was a bit more international – and also a bit younger.

That didn’t mean that the FANC could lean back and relax, however. Mind you, it seemed to be a million degrees at the indoor sports hall, but surely the ONCB were also a cause for the sweat broken by the FANC team members.

The only female player to be spotted, was Julie Berg Melfald – a fit and quick Norwegian with a long, blonde pony tail, and the number 3 written on the back of her dark blue shirt.

Even though all the staff – including both cheer teams dressed in each their coloured shirts – were from ONCB, a lot of people seemed to be cheering for the smiling Norwegian.

Though the Norwegian part of the team did do their best and each scored two of the team’s five goals, it wasn’t enough. Unfortunately for the semi-Scandinavian team, the lower average age, strong girl power and Viking blood, didn’t help much in combat with the white-shirted, Thai ONCB team, and they wound up losing.

They will get a chance to redeem themselves on Wednesday 15 January when playing against the Police Narcotics Suppression Bureau (PNSB) and the press (PRESS) on the following Wednesday, however.

Though smiling albeit losing, the Scandinavians are already eager to play again and seemed certain that they will win next game. But first, they need to concentrate on recovering from today’s game – it appears they don’t play so often.

futsal tournament 2020

The FANC team posing before the game kicks off.

The ONCB and the FANC smiling side by side, before the game starts and the competitive spirit comes out.

Getting a well-deserved hug after scoring a goal for the FANC team. Julie Berg Melfald managed to secure her team two goals.

Despite a solid effort from both teams, the hosts (ONCB) manage to score two goals at the eleventh hour and run off with the victory of the first game in the 2020 Friendship Futsal Games. Four of FANC’s five goals were scored by the Norwegian team-mates – two each.

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