Panajim, 12 June-2014, Marcus Mergulhao(TNN): Brazil is the greatest of all World Cup adventures and as football really comes home, it’s no surprise that almost everyone wants to be part of the biggest sporting spectacle on earth.
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Goa’s ministers and members of legislative assembly (MLAs) are also attracted by Brazil, and thanks to a generous government that is ready to spend at least Rs 89 lakh, six MLAs, including three ministers, will be packing their bags to Rio de Janeiro later this month.
Chief minister Manohar Parrikar is understood to have given the go-ahead to sports minister Ramesh Tawadkar, fisheries minister Avertano Furtado, power minister Milind Naik, Vasco MLA Carlos Almeida, Velim MLA Benjamin Silva and Aldona MLA Glen Ticlo to witness the Fifa World Cup 2014.
This will be Tawadkar’s first official visit to a foreign country. In the past, the sports minister has ignored requests to travel with the state delegation, notably for meetings of ACOLOP or Associacao dos Comites Olimpicos de Lingua Oficial Portugues, the body that organizes the Lusofonia Games.
Surprisingly, no government official, or football expert, will be part of the state delegation that is headed to Brazil, even though both of Goa’s Arjuna awardees — Brahmanand Shankhwalkar and Bruno Coutinho-had made their desire well known to the state government.
According to an initial file moved by the Sports Authority of Goa (SAG), executive director Sandip Jacques, sports secretary Mathew Samuels, joint director of coaching Bruno Coutinho, treasurer Arun Bhat and the sports minister’s officer on special duty (OSD) sought to be part of the delegation.
Two separate files were moved: one by fisheries minister Avertano Furtado-as early as November 29, 2013-and the other by SAG, championed by Tawadkar, but when a common file was presented before the chief minister, only the MLAs found favour.
The delegation will watch the first and second quarterfinal clash at the historic Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on July 4 and Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza on July 5, besides sampling the thrill that the semifinals will provide on July 8 and July 9 at Estadio Mineirao (Belo Horizonte) and Arena Corinthians (Sao Paulo) respectively.
Interestingly, four of the six “sporting” MLAs were part of another state delegation that had traveled to England in 2012 for the FIM World Motocross Championship of Great Britain at Winchester, ostensibly to “explore the possibility of introducing motocross in Goa in a big way and also explore the possibility of hosting international motocross events in Goa in the future”.
Of course nothing came out of the England visit with Goa even losing the right to host one round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in the state. [input source: TOI]