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Thanks to no age-cheating, Goa emerged top: Messias
March 5, 2008
Herald Sports Reporter
PANJIM, MARCH 4 ? Goa Football Association Secretary Savio Messias, whilst expressing happiness over Goa emerging as the best State of the All India Football Federation under-14 football festival which concluded yesterday at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, declared that efforts must continue to push ahead in making Goans, a force to reckon with in Indian football. ?We cannot afford to sit back and laud on our achievements. We need to work harder,? he said, adding that the journey embarked by GFA a few years back on the Youth Development, have begun to pay dividends and is an indication of things to come. The 2007-2008 football season has been good for Goa. Besides the U-14 title, Goa has emerged national champions in the under-21, while the Goan professional club Dempo SC emerged
India?s champion club winning India?s top most level in football competition ? the I-League and the Super Cup. Messias said that another important victory that emerged personally for him and for the GFA during this festival, was the fact that all the States who participated here in Goa, played clean and fair with the age of the boys. It must be noted here that Goa have frequently over the years been victims of age-cheating adopted by other States, denying genuine players their share of the cake. It is pertinent to note Messias and the GFA were in the forefront, waging a national war against age cheating which kills talent. Their efforts to ensure an age-cheating free youth level competition in India bore fruits at the Manchester United Premiership Cup championship held in Goa, where four team faced punitive action for cheating. ? This action sent strong signals to all teams around India. Every State played under-age players in the AIFF under-14 festival,? Messias disclosed, adding that he hopes all states will continue to maintain the sanctity of age levels in youth tournaments.