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The games people play

Politics in Indian sports is not the hidden fact anymore; it has been published by various media across the country and also been featured in many movies made in India. Just like education sector in India the field of sports is also very lucrative business where businessmen & celebrities are investing in millions. The rampant mushrooming of the various leagues in the sports with private stakes shows the potential of this sector. IPL, BPL, CPL, GPL and many more….. Goa has not left behind in this race. Today Goa also has the teams and their own leagues. The Cricket has the lions share in this since it has been one of the famous all time sports of India. With the recent development football is also added to this as one of the major sports.

In the recent development the famous Goan football player and Arjuna awardee Mr. Bruno Fernandes who was the Joint Director of the Sports (Coaching) has been removed from the SAG (Sports Authority of Goa) and transferred to Goa Football Development Council (GFDC) by the government order. According to the information available from reliable sources the earlier post was given to him by the BJP government itself where he was for the period of 11 long years. The post was specifically created in October 2004 by then sports minister, the late Matanhy Saldanha, to give the former India football captain his due after he became only the second-ever sportsperson from Goa to win the country’s highest sports award.

Sandip Jacques

According the available information the order of transfer was signed by SAG executive director Sandip Jacques, Coutinho stands “hereby transferred on deputation to Goa Football Development Council (GFDC) with immediate effect” and the appointment shall be initially for a period of one year. Now the situation is very strange as there is no specific demand from GFDC to develop grassroots football players and GFDC does not have a provision for a director of coaching nor space to accommodate him at their Patto headquarters. GFDC already has a South African technical director in Katz Naidoo and Coutinho could be surplus.

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GFDC sources confirmed that there were no discussions with anyone to secure Coutinho’s services. “The move is clearly malicious. We could understand if there was a request from GFDC to use Bruno’s services, but to transfer someone to another government department without reason is ridiculous,” said one sports official. Looking into the facts here Coutinho could have reason to believe he is being moved out of SAG for non-sporting reasons. In the last one week two football coaches, Maymol Rocky and Celvin Fernandes, who worked under him at SAG, have been “deputed” to GFDC, while top referee, Maria Rebello, whose services were sought on a “working arrangement” has also been forced out. All, except Maria, have been moved without GFDC’s nod.

goa football league

According to Mr. Jacques was only following government orders. “We have issued the orders based on government decision to transfer these coaches. If there is a problem the government will sort it out,” he said. While Mr. Couthinho is clueless about all this, “I received the order this morning. I really don’t know why it has been issued or what role has been assigned to me at GFDC,” he said

This may not be the first instance of transfers taking place in the state in various sectors; the recent transfer of SP IPS Priyanka Kashyap was also very controversial. The question is whether it’s true that transfers have the political hands behind them? Or it is just a routine practice to keep ball rolling? Sometimes it is done to please someone while in other cases it is done to harass? Inductions, expulsions & transfers are good till it stays in their limits and justices the acts, but when it becomes the game of politics it is very bad. I will be waiting for the comments and views from the readers, please do leave your valuable comments.

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