The Congress on Saturday demanded that the Indian Super League (ISL) matches in the state should be thrown open to the people in the football-loving state.
Addressing media persons here, working president of the state Congress Aleixo Sequeira also questioned the duplicity of the BJP-led coalition government in allowing packed houses to the Goa Chief Minister’s trophy and other events organised by the government, while denying people access to ISL matches.
“On one hand they have thrown caution to the wind whilst organising the CM’s trophy and denied permission for the audience to attend the ISL matches. Further the Government of Goa organised a weeklong festival at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee indoor complex where over 100 per cent capacity was utilised,” Sequeira told reporters.
“The same government has now denied the right of Goans to witness a game which Goans are known to be passionate about. We, therefore, demand from the government that Goans be immediately allowed to attend these matches,” he said.
ISL matches kicked off in the state earlier this week, but are being held without spectators.
Sequeira said that football is the official sport of Goa and barring local audiences from attending matches was inexplicable.
“Football is supposed to be the official sport of Goa. The infrastructure used is basically created from taxpayers’ money. The pity is that the grounds which have been allocated for ISL practice matches and the tournament per say have been granted by denying the locals the right to use these grounds during the tournament,” Sequeira said.
“On the one hand, our CM states that Goans have been 100 per cent vaccinated. If that be so, we fail to understand why he is afraid to allow Goans to attend the football matches. The PM acknowledges the fact that Goa and Goans are passionate about football,” he added.