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The Tilak Maidan was to be the alternate venue to host I-League matches after renovation on the Fatorda Stadium began for the upcoming Lusofonia Games.....

It seems like the completion of work at the Tilak Maidan at Vasco will be facing yet another delay as the stadium would be ready for use only by March 2013. Currently, the Goan I-League clubs namely, Dempo SC, Salgaocar FC, Sporting Clube de Goa and Churchill Brothers, are playing their home games in the refurbished Duler Stadium in Mapusa.

The Duler which is equipped with astroturf unlike the other I-League grounds in the country has satisfied the teams that have played here so far. The teams, have reportedly, been happy with the ambience at the ground and also it has generated a good revenue. However as the surface has still not yet settled, there has allegedly been an increase in players being injured.

When asked about the delay in the work at the Tilak Maidan, Sports Authority of Goa (SAG)'s Junior Engineer Elvis D'Souza revealed that there was some additional work to be completed besides the restrooms and the changing rooms. The I-League CEO Sunando Dhar visited the Tilak on Monday to decide upon a schedule for the matches to be held there.


The Duler Stadium at Mapusa is playing host to Goan I-League games


The SAG Junior Engineer speculated that the work could be finished by mid-February, but also revealed that there were some changes to the construction plan that led to the delay.

Dhar did not mince words when he was asked whether the Vasco ground would see some I-League action.

"Looking at the pace of the work it does not look like that the I-League matches will be held at the ground," he told The Herald.

Goa Football Association (GFA) Executive Committee member and former General Secretary Savio Messias felt that the work at the Tilak Maidan must be completed without compromising on quality. He highlighted that the matches were being held at the Duler without any problems and that the SAG must be given time to complete the work at the Vasco ground.

Savio also offered a suggestion on relaying the turf at the Tilak and not wait till May as planned as it would be difficult to carry out such work in the rainy season.

"Since there is already a delay, the work on laying new turf should be taken up immediately after the completion of the present works," remarked Savio.

Goans can recall how under the reign of former Sports Minister Francisco Monte Cruz, the Nehru Stadium at Fatorda was completed in a record six months time and will no doubt be comparing that fact with the delay at the Tilak.

Representatives from the four Goan I-League clubs, Raj Gomes (Salgaocar FC), Victor Fernandes (Sporting Clube de Goa), Macario Rodrigues (Churchill Brothers) and Custodio Almeida (Dempo SC), told The Herald that there was a proposal to have matches at the Tilak Maidan from March 31st after the I-League break concludes.

However they remained non-committal as the work at the Vasco based stadium is proceeding at a snail's pace.

It has also been learnt that the Indian FA are keen on telecasting Goan I-League matches from the Duler where matches kick-off at 15.45 pm IST due to the unavailability of floodlights.

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