Football should not be just a part of PR activity – Shivanand Salgaocar

The Salgaocar Football Club chairman hit out at the lack of importance given to the I-League clubs by the AIFF and IMG-Reliance...
 Anselm Noronha
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Salgaocar FC celebrated the renewal of their commitment to Indian and Goan Football through the launch of its new logo and club anthem, at the Marriott in Goa, on Tuesday evening.

Here, it was also revealed that the club, formerly known as Salgaocar Sports Club, will no longer be a corporate division of V.M. Salgaocar & Bro Pvt. Ltd. (VMSB), but a separate legal entity under the name of Salgaocar Football Club.

IMG-Reliance, the commercial and marketing partners of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), presented their "Vision 2026" which shall see the country make it into the 2026 World Cup. As part of their initiatives, they plan to start an elite academy in Gujarat, improve the infrastructure and start a two-month promotional tournament in their bid to popularize the game and also get their return on investment from Indian football. Speaking on the occasion, the Goan club's owner Shivanand Salgaocar took the opportunity to vent out his frustrations towards the manner in which football is managed in the country.

"Football should not be just a part of the PR activity like the 'tamasha' (drama) that the AIFF (All India Football Federation) and the IMG-Reliance are doing," he said referring to the proposed two-month long promotional tournament.

There were times when we thought we were at the top of the world, and times when we struggle to know what is going to happen next season.

– Shivanand Salgaocar

"There were times when we thought we were at the top of the world, and times when we struggle to know what is going to happen next season," he added.

Referring to I-League clubs turning themselves into separate legal entities as compared to the league itself, he continued, "Keeping in mind the requirements of the AFC (Asian Football Confederation), Salgaocar Football club is a private limited company.

"But I hope everyone - the club owners, members of the IPFCA (I-League Professional Football Clubs' Association) and whoever is involved - help in making the I-League a profitable venture.

"Although we (I-League clubs) still face difficulties in football today, everybody has to think of developing the sport starting from the grassroots. Our commitment and values for football promotion and upliftment of the beautiful game remain the same. We will never waiver on that front."

SFC home jersey SFC away jersey

Mr. Salgaocar recalled his father's dream of Salgaocar Football Club coming into existence and them having a positive impact on Indian football.

"56 years ago this dream was brought to life by my father (VM Salgaocar). I remember that he used to kick the people sitting around him when Salgaocar missed a chance to score," he added to the list of fond memories of the founder of the club.

The logo has a crest which is the symbol of glory, mining tools which highlights the foundation of the V.M Salgaocar Group (who are into mining business primarily), a conch which symbolizes a new hope and an auspicious beginning and a ribbon with fire indicating pride and passion. The club also have a tagline which states: "More than a game, it's our passion."

Also speaking at the function, chief guest and the Chief Minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar cracked a joke saying, "In the last two years or so, clubs like Salgaocar and Dempo realized that football can be profitable!"

With all the brouhaha surrounding the 'pass-and-move' style of play spoken about by the new national coach Wim Koevermans, Mr. Salgaocar mentioned that this brand of football was first introduced in the state of Goa back in the 70s.

"The Spanish style of football that is spoken by everyone now, was practiced in Goa several years ago. There were two coaches Ratnam of Dempo and Shamugham of Salgaocar, who introduced the Barcelona style of play in Goa which emphasized on short passes and ball possession," said Mr.Salgaocar, who is a fan of Barcelona and Arsenal football clubs.

Parrikar, who declared football as the official sport of Goa further promised, "If funds and infrastructure is required, you name it and I'll do it.

"I played football, so let's hope [Indian] football gets on the world map and also gets profitable for the [I-League] clubs. I want to see a lot of Goan players on the national as well as international footballing map," he added.

Rocus Lamare Nicolau Colaco Karanjit Singh Francis Fernandes

The new SFC home and away jerseys designed by the club owner's daughter Swati Salgaocar were also unveiled, while Rocus Lamare and Nicolau Colaco were presented with the "Longest Standing Player" and "Best Improvement" awards respectively on the occasion.

Two of Salgaocar's team members, Karanjit Singh and Francis Fernandes were also felicitated for being part of India's Nehru Cup 2012 winning team.

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