Bandodkar Gold Cup trophy has been switched, claims Churchill Brothers boss

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Panaji, July 28 (IANS) Made of solid gold and one of the priciest Indian sports trophies of its time, the Bandodkar Gold Cup, has been switched with a trophy made from another less precious metal, Churchill Alemao, president of the Churchill Brothers football club, has alleged, adding that he would launch a probe into the switch, if he wins the upcoming elections for the top post at the Goa Football Association.

Addressing a press conference in Panaji on Saturday, in the run up to the Association’s election, Alemao also said that the polls to the footballing body were being delayed in on purpose to debar him from contesting them on account of a 70-year age limit.

“The Bandodkar Gold Cup was made of pure gold weighing several kilos. There was always a posse of policemen guarding the trophy, when it was brought to the field during the football tournament. But now the GFA claims, that it is not made of gold. So where has the gold trophy gone?” Alemao told a press conference in Panaji.

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“The first thing I will do when I am elected the president of the GFA is to launch a probe, to investigate how the gold trophy was switched with a non-gold trophy,” Alemao also said.

The former Goa Chief Minister however admitted that he did not now when the trophy was “switched” or in the tenure of which Association president.

Instituted in 1970, by then Chief Minister, the late Dayanand Bandodkar, who also donated the trophy, the Bandodkar Gold Cup was one of the top football tournaments in business in that era.

The tournament was disbanded in 1994, only to be revived some years back by the Association.

Speaking to IANS, the Association’s current president Elvis Gomes said, that nothing stops Alemao from filing a police complaint in order to get to the bottom of the gold trophy mystery.

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“If he is so concerned, he should have filed a police complaint in all these years to investigate the issue. Why has he not done that?” Gomes said.

Responding to the allegations made by Alemao, that the GFA was delaying the association’s polls on purpose, so that Alemao would not be able to contest the elections on account of his age, Gomes said: “Football is not just about Churchill Alemao). Is he the only person running football in the footballing eco-system? This shows that football is all about himself and not about the sport or the fraternity”.

Alemao had alleged that, he is about to turn 70, and the Association’s rules debars those about 70 years to function as president, which is why those running the sports body now, were trying to delay the polls.

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