PANJIM: The Goa Football Association (GFA) condoled the sad demise of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and offered its condolences to the bereaved family.
Churchill Alemao, GFA President, stated that Parrikar, who was also the President of Sports Authority of Goa (SAG), would be remembered by the entire Goan sports and especially the football fraternity for declaring football as the official sport of Goa and setting up of Goa Football Development Council (GFDC) for promoting youth football with a handsome annual budgetary provision.
That apart he will also be remembered for giving the much-needed green signal for organising the 3rd Lusofonia Games in Goa for which he was instrumental in creating the much-needed infrastructure like the athletic track, the basketball and volleyball indoor stadium, the Mapusa stadium, the refurbishment of Nehru Stadium at Fatorda, renovation of Tilak Stadium at Vasco and upgradation of grounds at Benaulim, Utorda, Cuncolim and Nagoa.
"The hosting of some of the prestigious World Cup Under-17 matches at Fatorda was also due to Parrikar as he was instrumental in providing the necessary host city agreement and all guarantees as required by FIFA. He was also prompt, when requested by me three months back, despite his sickness, in asking the Government officials to immediately provide the necessary guarantees for hosting the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup matches in Goa in 2020, the bid for which was won by India (AIFF) yesterday," added Churchill while pointing out that Parrikar had also provided for grant-in-aid for Goan I-League clubs and had agreed to formulate a new enhanced financial pattern of assistance for GFA and football clubs as football was declared the official game of Goa.
"Goa has lost a visionary in Manohar Parrikar and will be missed by all. He was instrumental in making Football as the State Sports of Goa", stated Welvin Menezes, Executive Committee Member & Ex-General Secretary of Goa Football Association.
Meanwhile, the GFA has cancelled the Goa Pro League match between Churchill Bros FC and Calangute Association to be played at Duler Stadium, Mapusa on Monday as a mark of respect to the departed soul.
Besides, a minute's silence will be observed before the kick off of all official matches during the mourning period.