Four teams from Goa – Churchill Brothers FC, Salgaocar FC, Dempo Sports Club and Sporting Clube de Goa — reached the finals of the Durand Cup in ten of its editions. Churchill Brothers declined the invite to represent Goa and instead FC Goa Developmental Squad is filling in the void.
“We refused to participate because there is no clarity on the roadmap for football in India. Since football has been sold to a private entity, we are suffering and yet to receive money due to us for participating in the I-League. It did not make sense to assemble a team when the future is unclear,” Churchill Alemao, owner of Churchill Brothers FC, told The Navhind Times.
The Durand Cup was hosted in Goa in 2014 and despite three teams having won it nine times amongst themselves except for a new comer FC Goa, Goa appears to have been blanked out of a tournament that was once anxiously anticipated by fans.
Sixteen teams have been invited for the Durand Cup that started in Kolkata on Friday. Five teams invited are from Indian Super League (ISL), six from the I-League, one from the Second Division of the I-League and four from Armed Forces.
Salgaocar FC was the first club from Goa to have won the Durand Cup in 1999 when they beat East Bengal 3-2 in penalties after the winner could not be decided during regulation time. Churchill Brothers reached the finals in 2001-2002 and were beaten 0-5 by Mahindra United.
Sporting Clube de Goa reached the finals in 2005 and lost to Army XI in penalties but teams from Goa kept reaching the finals of the tournament till 2008. Dempo SC won the title in 2006 and Churchill followed winning their first title in 2008.
Churchill Brothers reached the finals five times and won
thrice whilst Salgaocar FC is the only team from Goa to have won the title on
all three times it made it to the
The FC Goa Development Squad which played under the name
of Goan FC in the Goa Football Association season opener on Thursday is to
leave for Kolkata on August 6 under coach Clifford
“Before the start of the match it is all about nostalgia. Once the match starts it is about football and the result that follows. Participating in the Durand Cup will be another opportunity for the boys in the Developmental Squad to prepare themselves for the senior team,” Clifford Miranda told the media during an interaction when asked the feeling of being part of a team that won the Durand Cup and now as coach of a team participating in the Cup.
“We got in the competition mode because there is no value in training when there is no competition. Competition brings out the finer aspects in a player and I am sure the players will benefit by participating in the Durand Cup. We are one of the youngest teams in the competition and expect to do well,” stated Clifford.