21 May 2024  |   06:57am IST

Over 60 Goan football clubs stare at de-recognition

GFA grants them three months to register under the Societies Registration Act, 1860; over 40 clubs from South Goa seek Law Minister Aleixo Sequeira’s help to resolve the registration issue
Over 60 Goan football clubs stare at de-recognition

Team Herald

MARGAO: More than 60 clubs face de-recognition from the Goa Football Association (GFA) if they fail to register mandatorily under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

Speaking to O Heraldo, GFA president Caitano Fernandes said that football clubs failing to register will face problems.

“We are urging football clubs to register. There is no deadline. We have requested everyone that all clubs who are associated with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and GFA should register under the Societies Registration Act and Sports Authority of Goa (SAG). This is compulsory. We are giving them three months extension. We have sent letters to the clubs. The government is very clear that any club that is registered should submit details of its annual audit, elections, minutes and details of registration, which is valid for five years. As of today, there are around 195 clubs and 130 of these are already registered. The rest have to do the needful.”

The GFA and the SAG have mandated that all football clubs must be registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860. However, many clubs are facing significant challenges in compiling the extensive documentation required for renewal.

For existing clubs seeking renewal, major hurdles include gathering audit details, managing committee histories and minutes of annual general body meetings spanning several years. New clubs applying for maiden registration face technical scrutiny to ensure that no other entity bears the same name.

In a bid to avert de-recognition, over 40 clubs from South Goa have jointly submitted a memorandum to the Law Minister Aleixo Sequeira, seeking assistance to resolve the registration issue. The memorandum outlines the key difficulties the clubs are encountering.

“The members of the clubs are facing certain difficulties, which are explained in the attached note. On behalf of the affected clubs, we request that you visit the office of the Inspector General of Societies to extend maximum assistance to the club managements to complete the regulatory formalities,” the clubs stated in their letter to Sequeira.

Among the signatories are Anthony Pango, representing Snows Football Academy; former AIFF general secretary Alberto Colaco, representing Salcete Football Club, and Seby Gaunkar, representing Arlem Youth Association.

Notably, Pango, who is also the GFA Vice-President from South Goa, hoped that this issue would be resolved by the end of the month. 

He explained that while GFA has 180 clubs with permanent status, there are another 20-odd temporary status clubs, and this issue affects clubs with both - permanent and temporary status.

With time running short, these football clubs are urgently seeking the government’s intervention to prevent potential de-recognition and ensure the uninterrupted continuation of their operations and activities. The clubs which are not registered will not be allowed to organise tournaments or hire the services of the referees affiliated to the GFA.

New football clubs, who want to register, complained that the Registrar of Societies (RCS) is unnecessarily holding up registration matters, and there has been a long delay. Also, clubs who had to renew their registration had been affected and they fear that if the delays continue then their registration will lapse and face major issues.

When contacted, GFA Vice-President (North) Jonathan de Sousa said, “We have had a meeting with the Law Minister weeks back and he has assured us full help and support once all the clubs submit their documents. We will give it to the Minister for speedy clearance. To register, you need to have your documents in order. For many years this has not been done. Getting old documents is a problem. The minister said the clubs should submit whatever papers they have. The minister said he would help to get it done. He will push it through.”

Another source in the GFA said that it was important that the certificates had to be in place. According to the source, as many as 86 clubs had problems of this nature in the North Goa and South Goa. 

He said that without the registration it would be difficult to function. They would have to show accounts of the last six years, have people in place and regular elections, and have meetings with minutes being shown. These things, he said, were mandatory.

Explaining the entire registration process, South Goa District Registrar Suraj Vernekar made it clear that the clubs having minimum seven members will have to register as required under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.  “The registration has to be renewed every five years. For example, if a club was registered in 2010, then it will have to be renewed in 2015. Now from 2015 to 2024, these clubs will have to provide all the details for it to be renewed,” Vernekar said.

When asked if there was any penalty for not registering the club, Vernekar said that they would have to pay a fee annual fine of Rs 150. He said that it was important for the clubs to make the effort and get their papers in order with the help of auditors. There was no deadline given for the clubs to register but he felt the government could give some relaxation by passing some special order. The State Registration Department did not issue any special communication for the football clubs but mentioned that all clubs have to be registered.


Iddhar Udhar