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Pitch queers for AIFF academy

The AIFF had tied up with Bharti Enterprises on January 4 to set up a world-class academy in Goa and on Thursday, the state government allotted a plot of 1.26 lakh square metres in Cuncolim.

sports Updated: Mar 12, 2008 23:06 IST
Rajeeb Mukherjee

THE ALL India Football Federation's (AIFF) proposed football academy in Goa has run into rough weather with locals in Cuncolim objecting to the move to hand over land to the federation.

The AIFF had tied up with Bharti Enterprises on January 4 to set up a world-class academy in Goa and on Thursday, the state government allotted a plot of 1.26 lakh square metres in Cuncolim.

But trouble started after locals voiced their resentment to the move. Goa Football Association secretary-general Savio Messias told HT: “The locals have reservations over the academy and are asking why so much of land is being needed for the project.” Joaquim Alemao, Goa's minister for urban development and an MLA from Cuncolim, could not be reached but it was learnt that people wanted to know what benefits they would get from the project, the number of jobs it would throw up and the community development programme that Bharti Enterprises would be undertaking. A meeting was held on Monday where AIFF secretary-general Alberto Colaco and representatives from Bharti Enterprises were also present. "The meeting failed to allay the fears of the locals and a fresh round of discussion will be held shortly," Messias said.

The telecom company has been asked to make a power-point presentation to the people of Cuncolim detailing their plans.