Goan football falls on hard times

Goa was once the hotbed of Indian football but now the sport has fallen on hard times in the state.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Goa was once the hotbed of Indian football. But now the sport has fallen on hard times in the state. Churchill Brothers, who have twice been runners-up in the National Football League, are now facing a serious financial crunch. The family-owned club is now supposedly up for sale to the highest bidder. "It's very hard to run a club. So we are looking for sponsorship this time, because since 30 years we are all spending my family money. It's very difficult so we are trying for sponsorship now," said Joaquim Aleamo, president, Churchill Brothers. Lack of sponsors isn't something new in Indian sport. Though India were once one of the top football playing countries in Asia, the sport is now battling all sorts of problems. Diminishing spectator interest is one of the reasons, which has led to a lack of television coverage. "Every company complains that they are not getting enough mileage on the TV like cricket. Everybody is going for cricket. I don't understand that when so many countries play football whereas cricket is played in only a few countries. But still companies are going mad to sponsor cricket," says Joaquim Aleamo. Churchill says its budget for this season is approximately one and a half crore rupees. Earlier this year, Mohammedan Sporting went public in an effort to raise funds for themselves. Perhaps that could be one way out for one of Goa's oldest football clubs to ensure its survival.