Sunday , 24 March 2019

Cricket, football and marbles



We are at the time of the season where most outdoor sports will be over and it will be time for the indoors. The starts of monsoons normally indicate the starts of some inter- village tournaments – where the surfaces are playable– and the time to start playing marbles.

End of May and the beginning of June was a time of the year when most shops would be stacked with a variety of marbles on their window counters. Things are fast changing now.

Many of us will not have much to worry about what to do during the first two months of the monsoons as it is the World Cup year and fortunately for us in Asia, the Cup is being hosted, for the first time, in my life time at least, at a time that is convenient to all of us.

There are going to be some early evening and some early nights when the matches are going to start in Russia and like many have said, we are not going to need to interrupt our sleep to be part of this football party.  It is not only going to be good for fans but good for us scribes too. No more carrying out dated or stale news in the editions.

World Cup fever has not really caught on in Goa or India because the IPL is on its last leg. The current edition of the IPL has clearly proved that match fixing is no longer a part of the game. The IPL consists of some of the best teams and that is why the games are so unpredictable. Teams with the potential of winning have ended as losers and vice versa. Unpredictability is the beauty of any sport and the beauty in cricket has been shining in the last month or so.

We have the World Cup every four years and we have the elections to the Goa Football Association (GFA) Executive Committee every four years. I do not know whether this happened by coincidence or that someone once thought it best to have elections when some prospective candidates are attending the World Cup abroad. Whatever be the reasoning, a new GFA president should be in place latest by the last Sunday of July.

The elections are announced forty five days before the date of elections and going by this yardstick, elections to GFA should be announced somewhere during the first week of June.

As of now, two candidates have announced their intention to stand for the post of president but just one candidates figure appears on the rough election canvas that is fluttering around in some of the villages of Goa. Agreed, it is too early to go about canvassing but throwing one’s hat in the ring in the last minute can be equally dangerous .

A little noise is emanating from the old war horses of GFA and those who can be heard pretty clearly are those who have through all these years managed to contribute little.

GFA needs an Executive Committee that is capable of drawing and trying to implement a footprint for football in Goa. GFA needs individuals not just capable of organising tournaments but individuals who understand the dynamics of taking football forward. People who can help our youngsters reap the fruits of football.

Football in Goa needs direction. Players need a platform to look at football as a career. This is the platform the new GFA Executive should be able to provide.

The government has introduced a new scheme for sportspeople and the scheme has not really gone well because rumours are emanating from SAG that the scheme was introduced to favour the son of a politician from South Goa. The athlete, it seems, went, participated and failed but his parents want his expenditure to be reimbursed by the government. If you want to discover the name of the beneficiary, try climbing the tallest hill in Goa. You may find it there.

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