15 Oct 2020  |   03:35am IST

The ISL may just be the best advertisement, our state needed

The ISL will be played in the state showcasing Goa’s capability as excellent hosts as well as capable of ensuring the highest standards in these every tough times. Café spoke to fans as well as members of the tourism industry to gauge their reaction.
The ISL may just be the best advertisement, our state needed

Team Café

The ISL will be held in Goa from November till the month of March, a festival of football for a state that is passionately in love with the game. The tournament is being held in a state that has experienced the rough end of the stick. The tourism industry has been decimated by the virus resulting in the loss of jobs running into the thousands. 

Omed Vera, a GM of a North Goa hotel felt it was a fantastic the tournament was being hoisted in the state. He said “The virus has certainly hit the industry and now this tournament will show the country and the world that it will be held in the state without any problems. This will be a great boost to the industry. We are following all the protocols to ensure everyone stays safe. We expect an increase in the number of conferences to be held in Goa because it is now difficult to get visas for certain destinations. Give it time, it will all happen. This tournament will be a great advertiser of our state’s capabilities to the world”.

For passionate football fans, this season will be interesting to several reasons.  Shubham Faldessai from Quepem said he was very excited to see Sergio Lobera back in the state. He said “We all have seen how the players left FC Goa following the decision to sack him. This year a major chunk of fans will maintain their loyalty to Lobera and his players like Mandar Rao Dessai, Hugo Bomous, Ahmed Jahou and Mortada Fall. 

For Kunal, a student at college in Panjim the fact the ISL was being scheduled in Goa made it great for every Goan. He said “It is definitely going to be challenging for the organizers as well as the teams to follow all the rules and stay within the bio bubble. With less than a month to go for the tournament to kick start, I'm very excited. We have a new team and it will be interesting to see what Juan Ferrando has in store for us. He added, “Even though spectators won't be allowed in stadiums, we will make sure that we have FC Goa's back no matter what”.


For Savio Messias who wears many hats- an hotelier as well as a one time football administrator- the fact that Goa was hosting the ISL, was a big relief to the industry. He said “Every hotel will have around 30 room nights for five months. That billing will be very substantial. Everyone from the players to journalists will be staying in the hotel. This will boost the economy. More importantly, it will be a great advertisement for the state’s capabilities. The fact the organizers have to promote the state as part of the deal is great for us. It will promote Goa as a tourism as well as a sports destination. It is great for Goa”.

One can hope this tournament will mark the start of the resurrection of the industry that has been buried for more than six months due to the virus. 




Iddhar Udhar