Goa government clears land for Bharti-AIFF football academy


Panaji : Goa housing board minister Mickky Pacheco Wednesday paved the way for the Bharti-All India Football Federation (AIFF) academy by transferring 1.37 lakh sq mts of land to a state agency which will oversee the setting up of the Rs.100- crore project.

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Addressing a joint press conference here Wednesday with urban development minister and Goa Football Association (GFA) president Joaquim Alemao, Mickky said that he had buried his differences with Alemao and that he was looking forward to the football academy being set up in the South Goa village of Cuncolim.

“We have patched up our differences. There were some misunderstandings which had arisen. The Bharti-AIFF football academy will come up in Cuncolim. I have already handed over the land to the State Urban Development Authority (SUDA),” Pacheco said.

The land had been acquired by the state government in the 1990s for a housing project in Cuncolim. Incidentally, SUDA functions under the aegis of the urban development ministry headed by the GFA president.

Mickky was against the construction of the academy due to his feud with the Alemao brothers – Joaquim and Churchill Alemao, who is the patron of the Churchill brothers football club.

Civil aviation minister and AIFF acting president Praful Patel was in Goa some months ago to evolve consensus between the two warring factions in order to push the academy project, but the senior NCP leader was not able to convince Mickky, also an NCP legislator, about an agreement.

Micky now says that he will speak to Patel and convey his endorsement of the football academy project.

“I will be speaking to him soon and asking him to set up the academy in Goa instead of Haryana. Goa needs such an academy,” he said.