No matter how passionate you are about the beautiful game, not everyone gets the opportunity to go to Qatar to watch their favourite teams at the FIFA World Cup 2022 or similar national and international games.
So, what’s the next best thing that a fan can do? Enjoy the game at a live screening at a local venue with hundreds of football-crazy fans! And, if you are the enterprising type, you’ll go one step further, which is what Conrad Barreto, from Margao, did when he co-founded Goa’s biggest football community – The Football Dug Out – which had FIFA World Cup 2022 screenings at several venues in Goa.
FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME
Ever since he was a child, Conrad Barreto has been passionate about football. His earliest memories of watching football were the 1998 FIFA World Cup matches.
While pursuing his Bachelors in Engineering (Electronics and Telecommunications) at Padre Conceicao College of Engineering, in Verna, he partnered with a childhood friend to create a community called ‘The Football Dug Out’, a group that attempts to re-create the emotions seen in a stadium, by conducting screenings for supporters of the game.
This group began as a Facebook page of the Liverpool FC Goa supporters before transforming into a community of general football fans, who cherish the memories of watching a match with like-minded sports enthusiasts.
While the initiative of holding screenings of football matches may seem easy, it involves a lot of activities such as public relations, conducting events, content creation, sponsorship and marketing.
GETTING INTO THE FOOTBALL EXPERIENCE
Although Conrad was employed as a Purchase and Procurement Executive at an ATM manufacturer, called Diebold from 2013-2015, followed by a tenure as Logistics Consultant at Hindustan Unilever from 2015-2017, his love for football didn’t fade away.
Conrad was appointed as Logistics and Transport Manager for the FIFA U-17 World Cup which was hosted in India in 2017, where his responsibilities included collaborating with others to ensure smooth transport arrangements for the FIFA U-17 World cup teams, among other duties. He worked in that position from August 2017 to November 2017.
After acquiring the experience of making transport arrangements easyier for the squads, he worked as a Client Servicing Consultant with FC Goa from November 2017 to April 2018. His duties there included overseeing the membership program that the club had launched, along with managing the deliverables.
From August to December of 2018, he worked as a city head for Reliance Foundation youth sports, where he was a part of the team that conducted grassroots tournaments in football for boys and girls of different categories. From March to April 2021, he was associated with the Asian Football Confederation as a Freelance Operations Consultant.
He was recently associated with another historical event in Goa, when he worked as Venue Manager for the LOC FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup from July to October 2022.
Over the years, Conrad’s love for football has only grown stronger, and has turned into one of the masterminds who gives fans in Goa memories worth cherishing.
RECREATING THE STADIUM EXPERIENCE
Due to the persistent efforts of people like Conrad, The Football Dug Out has an active presence on social media. People can be a part of this community by following ‘@tfdo_’ on Instagram and Twitter.
Apart from this, The Football Dug Out has a presence on Facebook too, through a Facebook page called ‘Football Dug Out’, along with a group on the platform called ‘The Football Dug Out’.
His efforts haven’t gone unnoticed and he was featured in a local newspaper as well as in The Telegraph, a national daily.
The Football Dug Out venues for the World Cup Final on Sunday, December 18, 2022
Quinta De Valadares, Verna
The Upper Room, Panjim
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