Panaji, July 31 (IANS) Goa Sports Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar on Tuesday said the government will investigate whether the Bandodkar Gold Cup — one of the most expensive sports trophies made of pure gold plating — has been surreptitiously replaced with one made of a cheaper metal.
Former Chief Minister and Nationalist Congress Party MLA Churchill Alemao, who is currently an aspirant for the president’s post of the Goa Football Association, has alleged that the trophy was switched while it was in the football organisation’s care.
The trophy was estimated to be worth over Rs 20 lakh in the 1970s, said Alemao. It was donated to the Association by the state’s first Chief Minister, late Dayanand Bandodkar, he added.
“This is a serious matter… It should be probed. The Government will decide whether an IAS officer or a judge will probe it,” Ajgaonkar told the Assembly during zero hour on Tuesday.
Instituted in 1970, the Bandodkar Gold Cup was one of the top football tournaments of that era. The tournament was disbanded in 1994, only to be revived some years back by the Association.
Alemao alleged that a book commissioned by the Association in the 1990s had itself claimed that the trophy was made of gold. “How can they say now that it is not made of gold? The trophy was kept by the Association in a bank (locker). How did it get switched?” Alemao said.