AIFF president asks Goa chief minister to transfer academy land

February 21st, 2009 - 5:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Feb 21 (IANS) All India Football Federation (AIFF) acting-president and cabinet minister Praful Patel Saturday asked Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat to broker peace between warring local football satraps within eight days, failing which the proposed Bharti football academy would be shifted to Haryana.

Speaking at a function held in south Goa, Patel, civil aviation minister, asked the chief minister to transfer the plot proposed for the Rs.1 billion academy to the development authority, who will in turn hand it over to the AIFF and telecom major Bharti.

“We will have no other option but to shift the academy to Haryana. Ideally we would not like to shift, but we are under immense pressure to take a decision now,” Patel said.

The football academy is a collaborative project, including illustrious stakeholders like the Manchester United Soccer School, Bharti Airtel and the AIFF.

The academy, which was planned to be set up at Cuncolim in south Goa, has become the bone of contention between arch political rivals, urban development minister and member of the AIFF Joaquim Alemao and Tourism and Housing minister Francisco alias Mickky Pacheco.

Joaquim has alleged that state housing minister Mickky had been delaying the handover of the 126,000 sq ft plot to the urban development ministry.

Patel, whose earlier attempts to broker peace between the two ministers had been unsuccessful, has now asked the chief minister to address the issue at the earliest.

“I request the Mr Kamat to please sort out the issue as we have responsibility,” Patel said, hoping that the land transfer would happen shortly.

Speaking to reporters after the function, Mickky said that the land had already been handed over to the urban development authority and alleged that they were delaying the setting up of the academy.

“It is for them to hand over the land to the AIFF. I have already cleared the file,” Mickky said.

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