The Duler stadium in Mapusa is ready to host the I-League matches, stated GFA vice-president (North) Lavinio Rebello on Tuesday.
Lavinio had doubts about the Chruchill Bros – Mohun Bagan match scheduled for December 29 as the AIFF is yet to pronounce the verdict of the abandoned East Bengal-Mohun Bagan match. “So far, all Bagan matches have been deferred pending the final verdict. Indications are there the AIFF may give the decision in the last week of December,” stated Lavinio.
The first match at Duler will certainly be played on December 30 with Salgaocar FC taking on Air India. Since there are no floodlights, the kick off time will be either 3.30 or 4 p.m.
Except for the medical room, all other requirements have been met with even separate arrangements made for the press, said Lavinio.
Salgaocar FC secretary RAJ Gomes who was at the venue expressed happiness with the arrangements. “All suggestions given by the I-league clubs have been carried out by the GFA. The turf is excellent, and the best available in Goa at the moment. It’s the 2012 model, which can do without watering,” remarked the Salgaocar official. “The grass is very special one and so also are the granules, which make it very special,” added Lavinio.
RAJ disclosed that he had suggested that fine nylon netting be made use of, so that the missiles, if thrown from the stands, do not land in the playfield, primarily from the safety aspect of the players and match officials. “The order for the netting has already been placed,” pointed out Lavinio.
“From the security point of view, sufficient number of bouncers will be positioned adequately in the stands whose job will be to watch the spectators and not the match,” stated Lavinio.
“Players and match officials’ safety is of paramount importance and we have to request the spectators not to throw missiles as the AIFF is very strict on such matters, and the GFA will face strict disciplinary action including imposition of hefty fine and even suspension of the venue,” stressed Lavinio, who prayed for incident-free organization with the support and cooperation of all fans.
Meanwhile, GFA Executive Committee member Savio Messias was ecstatic that the plans initiated at the time when he was the general secretary have been given shape. “The plans are the same and they were chalked out with help from Peter Vaz and even submitted by two of us, nearly two-and-half years ago, just before the present committee took over. There are no changes in the master plan following the additional land given by the Government at that time,” stated Savio.
“The artificial turf, no doubt, is the best one available in the State and it is a gift to all Bardez clubs and football fans from the North. The AIFF and FIFA need to be congratulated for having provided such an excellent material and it needed to be inaugurated as it marks a new chapter in providing quality infrastructure for the benefit of players, who in the past because of the hard surface had to suffer from arthritis and knee problems,” stressed Savio.
The selection of Duler Stadium for the turf was done by the then AIFF general secretary Alberto Colaco.
Both, Babli Mandrekar and Alirio Lobo, GFA Executive Committee members from Bardez, also spoke highly about the quality of the turf which they said will be a boon especially for Bardez clubs and football players. [H]