It is less than a month that Churchill Alemao has won the Goa Football Association (GFA) presidential elections and his detractors are already at work. Defeat pains and it pains more when the contest is not played on even keel.
Personally, it was evident before the elections that Churchill would win. The voter is supreme in any election and most clubs had decided on their candidate much before the election was announced. Just a few – with limited or no intelligence- believed they had a chance.
Now that Churchill has taken over, the way forward will largely depend on who Churchill deputes to run the affairs. Churchill is a great lover of football and has an understanding of the game few in Goa have. He has a vision and needs to put that vision into footballs domain.
There is no point on looking back at the last four years because what is left behind of the past is a mess; a mess best described as a sporting mess.
Churchill announced bulk of the GFA committees at the end of the first Executive Committee meeting and one aspect that appeared not to be sorted was the choice of candidate for the post of General Secretary.
Churchill wants Aleixo da Costa to be his man. But, getting Aleixo in, is not as easy as it seems because to do so Churchill will need to navigate through the laws of the government and the GFA’s own Statutes. The problem is this: if Aleixo gets government permission he can still not take the job unless he resigns because the GFA constitution states that a General Secretary appointment is governed by a private agreement, one which Aleixo cannot legally get into with GFA as long as he is a government servant. Had Aleixo been elected to the Executive committee, the problem would not have arisen at all.
Churchill can guide and govern but he does it best when he has good secretaries or what many would say foot soldiers. Everyone needs time to settle and Churchill needs his. Therefore, any protests now can be best viewed as laments of wounded men.
There were a few question marks that popped up when Churchill was disclosing the names of various committees and one question that not just popped up but stayed in my mind as a bubble was: how come North Goa member Babli Mandrekar was not nominated to any committee?
Babli is neither new nor an old war horse of GFA. He was first elected in 2010, lost in 2014 and is back again as the member from the North with the highest number of votes- 56.
It is safe to say that Babli is one EC member with a clear understanding of the GFA constitution. He knows the laws and the different rules and has always been a man who has stood by principles that nourish clubs. He is the type, if Churchill is misguided, to point that out and always try to bring the president back on the right track.
Babli has been with his village club Arpora Sporting Club since its inception and has been holding the post of secretary since beginning. A pharmacist by profession, Babli –from my understanding of him- knows that clubs are the foundation on which GFA rests and believes these foundations can be strengthened by respecting the constitution.
The GFA has been weakened because rules were bent and even created to help the unscrupulous. That needs to change now and such a change can be best brought about by utilising the capabilities of Babli Mandrekar. Having Babli in is one thing; giving him responsibility is another and this can be best tested by Churchill.