Football in Mauritius

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Football is the most popular sport in Mauritius. The national governing body is the Mauritius Football Association. Internationally, Mauritius is represented by Club M in senior competitions, and by the U-17 and U-20 teams in youth competitions. The top domestic football league in Mauritius is the Mauritian League, and the top knockout tournament of Mauritian football is the Mauritian Cup.

History[edit]

Football in Mauritius has had a tumultuous history. The Mauritian League was founded in 1935, and the Mauritius Football Association (MFA) was founded in 1952, affiliated to FIFA in 1962 and to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in 1963. The founding members of the association were FC Dodo, Faucon Flacq SC (now renamed Flacq SC), CSC, Hounds, Royal College of Curepipe, and Saint Joseph College, all of which were based out of Curepipe and, with the exception of Flacq SC, have since ceased to exist. Troubles have arose for the MFA ranging from perpetual financial shortages to constant changes of presidents, and it has been under fire from various quarters for failing to stem the decline of football in Mauritius. Although football continues to be the most popular sport in the country, the majority of domestic league matches attract very few spectators (sometimes less than a handful), earning the clubs and the MFA very little income and leaving the players without the motivation to showcase their skills.

The focus of the sport's popularity has almost completely shifted to the English Premier League, which is considered far more exciting due to the high quality of football on display and the presence of numerous world-famous stars. National and International television networks beam Premier League matches into the living rooms multiple times every week, adding to the erosion of interest in local football.[1]

The 1999 major restructuring of the MPL was regarded as the beginning of the decline in Mauritian football. Due to a riot on May 23, 1999, between Fire Brigade Sports Club (now renamed as Pamplemousses SC[2]) and Scouts Club (renamed as Port Louis Sporting Club[2]), which lasted for 3 days and killed 7 people, the government imposed an 18-month ban on all footballing activities in the country, with only the national team permitted to play during this period.[3] The restructure, which was an effort to de-ethnicize local clubs, required the "regionalization" of clubs, with teams now being formed on the basis of region instead of ethnicity or religion. Although the move achieved the desired results in terms of reduction in violent conflicts, it also removed the traditional rivalry among fans, resulting in loss of interest and support. In fact, many locals believe that the resurrection of Mauritian football lies in permitting the formation of clubs on the basis of ethnicity or religion.[1]

On the international stage, the national team, known as Club M, has not had much success, only winning the Indian Ocean Games twice and qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations once in 1974. It has plummeted down the FIFA World Rankings in the past few years to the lowest it has ever been. The future looks bright though, as in 2006 four Regional Technical Centers (CTR's) were created to improve youth football in Mauritius, with hopes of revitalizing the national team. There is hope that Mauritian football can grow to new heights if the MPL continues to grow and new talent is found in the CTR's.

Mauritius national football team[edit]

The Mauritius national football team is the national football team of Mauritius.

Mauritian League[edit]

Main article: Mauritian League

The Mauritian League, otherwise known as the Barclays League, is the top league of Mauritian football. The MFA Second Division is the second highest level of Mauritian football.

Mauritian Cup[edit]

Main article: Mauritian Cup

The Mauritian Cup is the top knockout tournament of Mauritian football.

League system[edit]

Level League(s)/Division(s)
1 Premier League
10 clubs
2 First Division
8 clubs + CTNFB
3 Second Division
8 clubs + CTNFB

Notable Mauritian footballers[edit]

Born in Mauritius[edit]

Name Position Current club National team
Toshan Gunness DF Canada Kingston FC  Mauritius
Kersley Appou FW Mauritius Pamplemousses SC  Mauritius
Ludovic Boi MF Australia Floreat Athena None
Gurty Calambé FW Mauritius Petite Rivière Noire SC  Mauritius
Brian Casquet FW Germany TUS Zeppelinheim E.V. None
Orwin Castel GK Australia Langwarrin SC  Mauritius
Ned Charles FW Retired  Mauritius
Jimmy Cundasamy MF Réunion US Stade Tamponnaise  Mauritius
Chris Driver MF Australia Langwarrin SC  Mauritius
Mohammad Anwar Elahee DF Deceased  Mauritius
Fabrice Pithia MF Mauritius Curepipe Starlight SC  Mauritius
Cédric Florent MF Australia Oakleigh Cannons FC None
Caleb Francis MF Retired None
Sewram Gobin FW Mauritius AS Rivière du Rempart  Mauritius
Kervin Godon MF Réunion Saint-Denis FC  Mauritius
Jean-Marc Ithier FW Retired  Mauritius
Jonathan Justin FW Free Agent None
Jerry Louis MF Réunion Trois Bassins FC  Mauritius
Jean-Paul de Marigny DF Retired, Australia Marconi Stallions FC (Manager)  Australia
Jacques-Désiré Périatambée MF Retired  Mauritius
Christopher Perle FW Retired  Mauritius
Herbert Rawson FW Deceased  England
Andy Sophie FW Réunion AS Excelsior  Mauritius

Of Mauritian heritage[edit]

Name Country of birth Position Current club National team
Jean-Sebastien Bax France France MF Retired  Mauritius
Thierry Boi Australia Australia MF Australia Waverley Wanderers SC  Mauritius
Jonathan Bru France France MF Australia Melbourne Victory  Mauritius
Kévin Bru France France MF Bulgaria Levski Sofia  Mauritius
Vikash Dhorasoo France France MF Retired  France
Gavin Heeroo England England MF Retired  Mauritius
Kabir Jeetoo England England MF England Enfield Town FC  Mauritius
Yoann Khodabuccus France France DF Retired  Mauritius
Patrick Kisnorbo Australia Australia DF Free Agent  Australia
Jean-Christophe Lourde France France DF France AS Beauvais Oise None
Sébastien Monier France France MF Free Agent None
Kalam Mooniaruck England England FW Retired  Mauritius
Arassen Ragaven France France MF Free Agent  Mauritius
Lindsay Rose France France DF France FC Valenciennes None
Wesley Saïd France France FW France Stade Rennais F.C. None
Kevin Sanasy England England FW England Radcliffe Borough F.C. None
Daniel Sundanum France France FW France FC Livry-Gargan  Mauritius
Nikolai Topor-Stanley Australia Australia MF Australia Western Sydney Wanderers  Australia

References[edit]