The Sports Minister, Manohar ‘Babu’ Ajgaonkar was grilled by the treasury as well as the opposition benches on Wednesday over the complete failure of the department of sports in the development as well as promotion of football in Goa, just as the legislators questioned the utilisation of crores of rupees spent over encouraging football, which is incidentally the state sports of Goa.
Replying to a question by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA, Francis Silveira as regards development and promotion of football in Goa, Ajgaonkar said that there is total failure of football in Goa, including rise of new generation football players at the local level.
Ajgaonkar further admitted that the Goa Football Development Council (GFDC), Goa Football Association (GFA) and the 181 football clubs in the state registered with the department of sports, have all collectively failed to help Goa in retaining its position in this sport, which it once enjoyed. “Where is the quality left in Goan football today,” he questioned.
Strongly refuting the statement of the Minister for Sports, Aldona MLA, Glenn Ticlo said that it is not the failure of the clubs but the incompetency of the department of sports, which has damaged the status enjoyed by Goa in football. He also inquired when and how crores of rupees allocated for football, have been spent.
Claiming that he himself is a sportsman having love for football, the Aldona MLA urged the Minister for Sports to look into the affairs of the department of sports as related to football.
Meanwhile, Benaulim MLA, Churchill Alemao claimed that his club, Churchill Brothers is the saviour of football in Goa, as only his club has been successful in developing football in Goa as well as promoting Goan football players at the national level.
He also stated that all is not well in Goan football arena, retorting that the Goa Football Development Council is preparing football players, who cannot rise beyond the local level.
The Minister for Sports admitted that of recent, the Goan football players have failed in junior, sub-junior and senior group tournaments, held at Manipur, Assam, Meghalaya, Haryana, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
When Ajgaonkar proposed
that the Goa Football Development Council and the Goa Football Association
should work together, the Tivim MLA, Nilkanth Halarnkar observed that if such a
thing happens, then it would not be in the interest of football, as there is
enough politics of rivalry between the two