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Clubs to seek time – frame assurance from GFA, to bring life to league

PANAJI: The issue of awarding three points to teams because their opponents have disbanded before the League is over and a fixed time frame for the Goa Professional League (GPL) to finish are the two main points to be brought up by managers during the Goa Professional League (GPL) team managers meeting at Goa Football Association (GFA headquarters on Wednesday.

The GFA Goa Professional League 2019-2020 was proposed to start in mid August by the GFA Executive Committee in its last meeting, on June 18.

 “ We are starting the League early because we will be hosting the West Zone qualification round of the Santosh Trophy in October and we intend taking a break during this time to allow the State team to practise together,” GFA Technical Committee chairman Lavinio Rebello had told The Navhind Times after the meeting.

“There should be no matches when the State team is practising together,” he had added.

GPL ended last year in the month of May and two teams – Vasco SC and Guardian Angel Sports Club –   had disbanded their team due to their inability to retain their players for so long and Goan FC got six points from the two walkovers gained against these two teams, robbing the league of its charm.

“Vasco Sports Club is ready with the team. Starting is not going to be a problem. We are ready to keep our team together for seven months if GFA assures us of a defnitive time frame. We are ready with a stronger team and we hope GFA shows strength in its organisation,” Ravish Narvekar , the executive brain behind the club told The Navhind Times.

“We are signing players from Kolkata, Delhi and Pune for the forthcoming season. The budget has increased and that is because this season we have decided to rope in sponsors from all over, instead of just a few. We have sponsors even from Canada and the UK,” confessed Ravish.

“The issue of teams in GPL using players from their senior teams without any stipulations was raised during the Executive committee meeting. In the past, teams in GPL were used to use their senior players for two matches of GPL. Everything has gone haywire since the last three years and we were hoping to bring a system in place. The Competition Committee members need to meet to amend the Competition Rules and get them approved by the Executive Committee before they are discussed in the manager meeting. This has not happened,” stated a member of the Executive Committee on condition of anonymity.

“Now we have I-League and ISL players playing in the GPL and that robs the league of its charm,” added a source.

“The Competition Committee met just once after it was formed. We are not going to have any meeting soon because competition rules do not need to amended for now. If there is a need, a meeting will be called ,” Domnic Fernandes, chairman of the Competition Committee told The Navhind Times.

The GPL has been plagued by constant postponements.

Article 23 of the Official Competition Rules states: “The secretariat may decide to postpone matches due to circumstances which, in their opinion warrant a postponement, upon consultation with the chairman or deputy chairman of the Official competition Committee.”

Matches of the GPL, First Division and other leagues organised by GFA were being postponed on a daily basis last season and the season before.

“The manner in which matches were postponed last season became a joke. There were no intimations on the GFA notice board outside the stadium or in the press. People used to come for games and go back furious,” stated Naguesh, a fan occasionally seen at the Duler stadium.

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