Annual Birmingham Shaheedi Tournament organised by Birmingham Khalsa Football Federation and Khalsa Football Federation took place at the Aston University Recreation Centre, Aston University, Birmingham Road, Walsall, West Midlands on 10th and 11th June in which 33 Senior teams and 52 Junior teams of which 14 were girls teams entertained the football supporters.. Once again beautiful weather contributed to thousands coming from all over the country. Boys and Girls’ matches were played on Sunday when there was a truly family atmosphere.
In the Girls Tournament there were 5 teams for Under 9s, 3 teams for Under 10s, 4 teams for Under 12s, and two teams for the Under 14s. At the presentation ceremony by the organisers, it was announced that on one of these types of Tournaments one of our girls was selected by Aston Villa who then went on to play for Liverpool.
The 32-page booklet of the tournament did not contain one word of Punjabi language and not even one name of Shaheed in English or Punjabi which was very disappointing especially as Guru Ravidass Gurdwara, Baba Sang Gurdwara and Baba Deep Singh Gurdwara were among the sponsors.
On Saturday an elderly disabled person requested to sit down for a short while in the Guru Ka Langar area where there was an empty seat available. To his shock and embarrassment, he was rudely told by one of the Sewadars that he could not sit there at all.
Santokh Singh said of the tournament “Thank you Birmingham football tournament at Walsall. Great football – great hospitality. In the Sikh Tradition, lots of Sewa, Guru Ka Langar, Sandwiches, bottled water, fizzy drinks, tea, crisps, chocolates – however I couldn’t help reminiscing about the old days when we had Guru Ka Langar all day, filled our own water bottles from the taps in the changing rooms. Seeing sandwiches in the bins and the mountain of plastic at the venue nowadays makes me think perhaps some things were environmentally better in the old days.