Football is one game that Goans cannot live without. Some eat, sleep and dream about it. People play football throughout the year in Goa in every open space that they can find. Watching football is another craze. Every time there are games on TV, you can be sure that almost every pub and restaurant will be showing them. While people do get boisterous and loud while watching football, it’s a lot of fun to be a part of the crowd even if one is not a fan. And in 3 days time, lots of people are going to be glued to their televisions when the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia begins.
Goans and their great love for football
Goa and Goans have a longstanding love affair with football. This probably began way back in 1883 when the game was first introduced to Goa by an Irish priest called Reverend Fr. William Robert Lyons. Football was actually included as part of the sports curriculum in Catholic schools. It fast gained popularity due to its simplicity. Of course, given that football is a European sport and Goa was under Portuguese rule, it’s no secret that this was a major influence in getting Goans to love the game.
The Goa Football Association(GFA) was formed in 1959. Since then, football games and tournaments have been organized at various levels on a regular basis. In 1970, the GFA hosted the All India Bandodkar Gold Cup. Following its success, Goa became the venue for the national tournament popularly called Santosh Trophy in 1972. Though hosts Goa lost in the finals, the Goan team eventually won the Santosh Trophy in 1982.
Goa has given lots back to the football world in terms of major players as well as football clubs. Four of them, Brahmanand Sankhwalkar, Bruno Coutinho, Mauricio Afonso, and Roberto Fernandes have had the honor of leading the national team as well. Goa’s dominance in Indian football can be also be gauged from the fact that as many as five major clubs are from the state. Salgaocar club, Churchill Bros, Dempo Sports club, Sporting Clube de Goa, and Vasco SC. All of these regularly feature in the Indian I league.
Goa also had the distinction of hosting the FIFA Under-17 World Cup last year in October.
2018 FIFA World Cup Russia begins in 3 days
And speaking of love for football, in 3 days, almost the entire state is going to be glued to its TVs. Football fever will hit and for the next one month, people will eat, breathe, sleep and dream about the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
The World Cup matches begin on the 14th of June and go right up to the 15th of July. All football matches happen during the daytime with time slots ranging from 3:30 pm to 12:30 am. With a time difference of just 2 and a half hours between India and Russia, people aren’t going to find any trouble staying up for the World Cup this year.
Watching the World Cup
There are people from Goa that have also gone to Russia just for the sake of the World Cup. However, if you can’t go all the way to Russia to watch the matches, pubs and restaurants will be screening them so worry not. You can pick your time slot and head to either of these particular places to watch with a group of friends.
There’s Bay 15 in Odxel. Bay 15’s making it exciting for you folks who come to watch the games there. Besides screening the matches, there will be spot prizes as well as a special jersey signed by Lionel Messi for one lucky winner!
Down The Road Pub and Bistro in Panjim is also showing the World Cup matches from afternoon to night. With 3 screens, you can either sit outside or indoors and watch the matches at leisure.
If it’s an evening match or even a nighttime match that you want to watch, be sure to go early. Just in case these places fill up with superfans of football, looking for a good time!
For more information about the FIFA World up, check out the link.
Also, check out the official FIFA website for more on the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. The full schedule is available online.
Here’s a video offering you a peek at the World Cup stadiums too!
Information credit – http://www.goatrip.co.in/travel-guide/sports-recreation/football.html