One of Goa’s most prestigious and historic football tournaments – Bandodkar Gold Trophy Football Tournament – is set for a revival after a gap of over twenty long years.
In an effort to keep the legacy and spirit of the traditional tournament alive, the Goa Football Association (GFA) has stepped in to organize the Bandodkar Gold Trophy Football Tournament 2016, ably supported by the illustrious Bandodkar family.
The final of the tournament will be played under the newly installed floodlights at the Duler Stadium, Mapusa with the winning team walking away with a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh and the runners-up will be awarded Rs. 75,000.
The story goes that Goa was anxiously looking forward to hosts its first major tournament – the Santosh Trophy – after it was affiliated to the All India Football Federation (AIFF). The AIFF was not sure of Goa’s capabilities to organise such a major event and instead asked the GFA to first organise an All India Football Tournament.
This was the acid test of GFA’s organisational abilities. GFA turned to the then Chief Minister Dayanand Bandodkar, with a request to help them. A sports aficionado, Dayanand Bandodkar agreed without batting an eyelid and donated the trophy. The first Bandodkar Tournament thus became the platform, on which GFA showcased its organisational skills, for which it is well known today. The AIFF was impressed and offered Goa the opportunity to host the Santosh Trophy in 1972. The first edition of the Bandodkar Gold Trophy held in 1970 was won by Leaders Club, Punjab while the last edition was won by Salgaocar SC.
Slated to be held between May 20 and June 1, the Under-21 tournament will see eight teams battle it out for the prestigious trophy. The tournament will have six teams from Goa – Salgaocar FC, Sporting Clube de Goa, Dempo SC, Churchill Brothers SC, Goa Velha SC and Snows Football Academy and will see participation from two top football academies from Pune – DSK Shivajians FC and Pune FC. The matches will be played at Duler Stadium, Mapusa in north Goa and Navelim Football Ground in south Goa. Matches will kick off at 4.15pm simultaneously across both venues.
The eight team tournament will culminate with the finals to be held on June 1 at the newly revamped Duler Stadium in Mapusa under floodlights. The Duler football stadium has been newly renovated and upgraded by the GFA with world class technology and lighting equipment.
Elvis Gomes, Goa Football Association president, said, “The Bandodkar Gold Trophy Football Tournament is a crucial part of the history and legacy of Goan football. GFA is reviving this traditional tournament of significance with the support and encouragement of the Bandodkar family. The Bandodkar Gold Trophy Football Tournament will be an annual fixture on the state’s football calendar and we are looking to better it with each passing year. We are excited and pleased to be reviving this tournament. We have ambitious plans and look to rolling them out in the next few years.”
Sameer Kakodkar from the Bandodkar family added, “The Bandodkar family is delighted that the Bandodkar Gold Trophy Football Tournament is being revived by the GFA after a gap of over 20 long years. The U-21 age bracket is a good age to tap into footballing talent and offer footballers the opportunity to take a leap into professional football. We hope that tournaments such as the Bandodkar Gold Trophy Football Tournament will play the role of catalyst and that tournaments such as these will spark interest in cities across the country.”
Rahul Rodrigues, Co-founder and MD, Zest Concepts, said, “We at Zest Concepts are extremely excited about being associated with the Goa Football Association particularly on this event, because for its legacy. We believe these are very exciting times for football in the state particularly under the leadership of Mr. Elvis Gomes. It is good to see such tournaments being revived and offering opportunities to U-21 players to perform on the field.”
The first games of the tournament will kick off on May 20 with Salgaocar SC taking on Goa Velha SC at Navelim football ground and Sporting Clube de Goa taking on Snow FA at the Duler Stadium in Mapusa simultaneously at 4:15 PM. The finals will be played under floodlights at the Duler Stadium with the winners walking away with a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh and the runners up with Rs. 75,000.