Proposed AIFF academy faces obstacles

March 11th, 2008 - 8:46 pm ICT by admin  

Margao, March 11 (IANS) The All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) ambitious plan of setting up a National Football Academy in Goa has run into trouble with locals who are up in arms against the project. The state government had agreed to lease out 126,000 square meters of prime land at Cuncolim, 10 km from here, for the academy to be built at an estimated Rs.1 billion.

But the AIFF, the government and sponsors Bharti Telecom are facing opposition against the academy.

At a meeting called to discuss the issue, people gathered in large numbers and asked the AIFF and the sponsors to put forward a “concrete proposal” on land utilisation.

“Nothing should be done without the support and consent of the people,” argued legislator Joaquim Alemao.

Alemao, a powerful minister in the state government, is also the president of the Goa Football Association.

The citizens also sought an explanation on the job prospects, plans for community development and the quantum of compensation to land owners.

AIFF general secretary Alberto Colaco, who attended the meeting, promised that the project would be implemented in a transparent manner.

“This academy will provide the right direction for Indian football,” he said.

He said the academy would have residential accommodation, six natural turfs, an artificial turf, a gymnasium, meeting halls, class rooms and a library besides other facilities.

Alemao, however, promised to scrap the project if the locals continued to oppose it.

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