Thursday, March 19, 2009

Political wrestling robs Goa of football academy

The much touted state of the art academy for football which was to be set up in Goa is on its way out. The All India Football Federation (football in goa AIFF) and Bharti Enterprises have finally given their verdict by dropping all plans of setting up the ambitious 100 crore project in Goa due to the prolonged delay of the state government of Goa in acquiring land for the project.

Responding that the AIFF cannot wait forever for the state government of Goa, to act on the acquiring and transfer of the land to the academy, the AIFF general secretary indicated that the  proposal has been put off and expressed his disappointment over Goa's loss in setting up the academy.

While no decision about the alternative venue for the academy has been made, sources indicate that Haryana is the most likely to benefit out of Goa's loss.

The academy had been cleared by the state cabinet and suitable land was identified in Cuncolim, but the housing Ministry is reported to be refusing to part with the 1.26 sq mt of land keeping the entire process at a standstill.

The project which was to begin last march ran into problems after two powerful Goan politicians locked horns and the tussle between the two ministers turned into a war of words leading to an inordinate delay in the clearance. While Mr Micky Pacheco claimed that the land in question belonged to his department, he accused Mr Joaquim Alemao GFA president and minister for Urban development of illegally transferring the land for the academy.

The end result is that in the political muddle of a couple of men, Goa has lost the golden opportunity of a football academy which would have nurtured budding talent in Goa to fructify into football greats for the state. It is a shame that we lost this due to the sleazy politicking of a select few.

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