New Delhi – The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has joined hands with the Goa government to build a state-of-the-art centre of excellence in Goa, an official said Wednesday.
AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said that the Goa government, which had already declared football as the state sport, will be providing land and infrastructure while the federation will offer technical assistance.
Goa Sports Minister Ramesh Tawadkar, Goa State Football Development Council chairman Rufino Monterio and Goa Football Association vice president Elvis Gomes were also present at a meeting on the issue.
Das said that the proposed centre of excellence, which will be on the lines of the ones in Dubai and Austria, will house all the national teams, including the age-group squads.
“Apart from having two or three fully developed grounds and other facilities that will allow us to make it a permanent venue for holding camps for all national teams, the centre will also have the necessary infrastructure to hold referees and coaching courses,” said Das.
Assuring full support of the Goan government, Tawadkar said that the centre would be fully functional in the next couple of years. Tawadkar also insisted that the centre could be used by national teams of other countries as well.
“It will give us the opportunity to generate funds like it is done in Dubai or Austria,” said Tawadkar, adding that the state government had earmarked an annual grant of Rs.5 crore for the development of the sport.
But the funds for the centre will be above the annual grant set aside for the development of the sport.
Gomes, who was also present during the meeting, brushed aside questions when asked why AIFF’s ambitious academy funded by the Bharti group remained a non-starter.
“There was no clarity in it. A private player was involved and lots of questions were unanswered. So, it did not materialise in the end,” he said.