Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, on Friday, slammed the Goa Football Association (GFA) for boycotting the FIFA U17 World Cup which will be held in India next month.
Goa is one of six venues for the first-ever FIFA tournament to be held in India but the state FA's apathy has not amused the CM.
Speaking at the Dilip Sardessai Sports Excellence awards ceremony in Panaji, he said, "The Goa Football Association has officially boycotted the World Cup. I basically think it is personal ego. I don't think the association should boycott the World Cup. Even though they may find some issues not very comfortable to them, the event is beyond their egos. They should have participated."
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader went on to claim that Goa does not have any representative in the India U17 World Cup team, despite being a footballing hotbed, because of the infighting and bickering among the GFA members.
In fact, U17 World Cup team trials scheduled to be held in the state back in 2015 was cancelled by the GFA.
"The U-17 Indian team does not have a Goan player. That is not because we are not talented, that is because our association is better than us politicians in fighting among ourselves," said Parrikar in a hard-hitting comment.
Goa is scheduled to host nine matches in the youth football extravaganza including a quarterfinal.