Marietta Bar & Restaurant in Panjim is synonymous with good Goan food, and Moti as a host is one who has good service set in stone as a tradition. Of course, the aura of sports that envelopes Marietta also leaves a lasting impression on sports fans or not alike.
With the passage of time, the once famous Marietta Cup added football flavour to the menu.
Despite the passing away of Moti, the sporting blood running in the family has been kept alive by the Don Bosco Oratory, where the Fazila Memorial Basketball Tournament 2023 in memory of Moti’s second daughter was conducted.
Most of the seven children Ambrosio Rodrigues, alias Moti, had, helped their parents manage the restaurant. Fazila was one among the seven who stood out as a basketball player. She worked for Don Bosco Oratory for around nineteen years before falling victim to cancer.
“We decided to have the tournament in her honour because of her dedication. She was one of those employees who loved her work as much as she loved the game,” described Br James Marcus, who is in charge of the Don Bosco Oratory.
It would not come as a surprise to anyone that Moti’s children took to sports like a duck to water. The man was built for sports with his impressive height, coupled with his love for sporting activities, especially football.
At work and during his leisure time, Moti’s abject fascination for football was always abundantly evident. He could be seen at the oratory ground watching a match every evening.
This would explain why his restaurant was the haunt of Dempo Sports Club players, whose hostel was in the vicinity, and was frequented by GFA officials.
There was then a bond between football and Moti that only those sautéed in football could understand.
The Marietta Football Cup, started by Moti in memory of his second youngest daughter, was a coveted tournament of the 80s that provided an opening to many stars of the past.
At some point, Moti decided to lay the Marietta Cup to rest. This, however, did not diminish the football fever that peaked at Marietta’s during every World Cup.
“Moti was a man who loved sports and not just football. He used to offer a drink on the house when any of his kids performed well,” recalls Joaquim, a regular from the 80s.
Fazila grew up seeing her father’s love for football, and it was her prowess with the basketball that bonded the two.
“Fazila can be said to be one of the best female basketball players of her time in Goa. She captained the Goa team in most age group categories,” remembers her former basketball coach Namy Jain.
“Goa won the bronze medal in the cadet category when she was a part of the team. Fazila was a very good friend, very sincere as a person and very hardworking,” remembers Namy.
“I remember her father had a football tournament called the Marietta Cup in memory of one of his daughters many years back, and it is a coincidence that now there is a basketball tournament being organised in the name of another daughter,” muses a spectator during the finals of the Fazila Memorial Basketball Tournament 2023.
Sports tournaments in Goa are normally held in memory of a member of a family. That two tournaments in two sports have been held in memory of two members of one family, could well be a benchmark in sports in Goa.