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Four teams to participate; Sporting Clube de Goa, Panjim Footballers out

Panaji: The Goa Football Association (GFA) Senior Women’s League is set to start on November 15 with four teams instead of the seven that participated last season.

Albert Developers, Churchill Brothers, PVC Parra and FC Goa are the four teams that have confirmed their participation, according to a press release issued by GFA on Friday night.

The three teams that are out are – Sporting Clube de Goa, Panjim Footballers and Goa Velha Sports Club.

From among the three, Goa Velha was clear from the beginning that they would not be participating if GFA continued with the Draft system to decide the players of each team. Sporting Clube de Goa had in a letter sent to GFA on September 6 stated: “With reference to your letter dated 04/09/2019 vide Ref no GFA /2019-20/P/280 I am to reconfirm the participation of Sporting Clube de Goa in the 3rd Vedanta Women’s league. The management is in the process of finalising this year’s squad and will submit the players’ registration forms to the GFA Secretariatat the earliest.”

Panjim Footballers in a letter signed by one Simon Mascarenhas informed GFA on September 6, 2019, the following: “Panjim Footballers have paid the Entry Fee to participate in the GFA Women’s League for this season. We have retained most of our players and hope to sign a few more to make our team stronger….”

From the two letters it is evident that the two clubs – Sporting clube de Goa and Panjim Footballers –  intended to participate in the league on their terms and not the terms of the GFA Executive Committee which had in its last Executive Committee meeting decided that players from the Women’s League would be allocated to teams based on a Draft.

“It was clearly decided in the last EC that there would be a Draft for players. I decided to introduce the Draft so as to end the imbalance of teams. There was a lot of chicanery last season and it was the most lopsided League. Women’s football should be an enjoyable competition to participants,” explained Carol Gomes, chairman of GFA Women’s Football and Women’s Competition Committee.

“Despite informing all the clubs, Sporting and Panjim Footballers kept singing another tune, one that was totally against what the EC had decided. We cannot allow the participants of a tournament to decide the rules of the tournament,” said Carol.

“There were a lot of wrongs perpetrated in the last League. Our league got a raw press locally and at the national level because of the manner in which the players were treated. As chairman of the committee I thought it would be right to set a fair benchmark for all where the players are not cheated and instead allowed to enjoy themselves,” added Carol.

“Who is to be blamed if a person books a ticket and does not take the flight? The airline or the flyer?” asked Carol when asked why Panjim Footballers was not among the teams this year.

The four teams will play on a double-leg league basis with a total of twelve matches. The champion team will earn a place in the National Indian Women’s League, with the GFA having an option to nominate one more team depending on the AIFF selection. Players have been included in the open draft system which will decide the allocation of players on October 15. One hundred and twenty women football players have been registered in the draft. The championship is sponsored by Vedanta.

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