PANJIM: The GFA Awards Nite, on Saturday, at Taleigao, brought down the curtain on the official 2022-23 football season what with prizes being distributed to the winners and runners-up of even from the pending 2018-2022 seasons and further acknowledging the superb achievements of players and officials during the season that just ended in May.
Kudos to GFA for completing 14 official league competitions within a span of just seven months, despite a late start due to elections of the association. That apart, two new competitions were added - the Under-14 and Under-16 competitions for girls with a view to promote women's football. Credit should go where it deserves - to the entire Executive Committee as well as the staff, clubs, players, officials and several others. In this, the role of captain, played by its president Caitano Fernandes and the task entrusted to vice-captain, accomplished by senior vice-president, Anthony Pango deserve a special mention.
It is sheer magnanimity of Caitano Fernandes that made way for the distribution of the prizes pending for the past four years 2018-2022. He made up the deficit of Rs 71 lakh. Further, Caitano shelled out Rs 1.30 crores for organising the leagues. Nobody in the past is known to have shelled out such a vast sum and that too in such a short term of less than eight months.
The Competitions Committee chairman, Pango and the rest must be credited with the tough task of completing 826 matches, averaging four matches a day. A herculean task for which Pango deserve a pat on his back.
The outstanding performances of players and officials were acknowledged at the function. Mark Fernandes of Salgaocar emerged as the Men's-Player-of-the-Year while Cia Ryzella Almeida of Churchill Brothers Football Club was adjudged Women's-Player-of-the-Year.
Two special achievement awards were also announced, with the winners being Maria Rebello as Referees Assessor and Dr Fenton de Sousa, the Ambulance Service provider.
Chief Guest, Sports Minister Govind Gaude promised full support to GFA, including making the grounds available to the association. Vice-president Jonathan D'Sousa welcomed. Caitano spoke. Prizes were given away by the Sports Minister, Executive Committee members and several ex-officials.