Keeping his election promise that he would dig into his pockets when the need arises, the Goa Football Association (GFA) Executive Committee declared that CAM Industries of President Caitano Fernandes will be sponsoring the 2022-23 Goa Professional League (GPL), which starts on December 6 with a match between Guardian Angel SC and Velsao Sports & Cultural Club at Duler Stadium.
“I am pleased to announce that the organisational wheels of GFA have been set in motion, and as a first step, the Goa Professional League is set to start in December. This is the beginning,” stated the GFA president.
Caitano Fernandes was at the launch of the Goa Professional League, which was attended by the managers and captains of all the eleven participating teams.“CAM Industries are the title sponsors of the Goa Pro League, and prize money of Rs five lakhs is to be awarded to the winner and Rs three lakhs to the runner up,” declared Anthony Pango during the unveiling of the sponsors and trophy of the Goa Professional League.
The Goa Professional League is going to be contested in two phases with all teams playing each other in the first. The top six teams of the first round will be split into another group in the second round and the bottom five will play in another group.
The winner and runner-up of the group of the best six teams of the first round will be declared as CAM GPL winner and runner-up of the season 2022-23, while the team which finishes last in the other group will be relegated to the first division.
“The Executive Committee has yet to decide on whether entry tickets will be charged for the GPL. The Executive Committee will decide in a few days,” stated Jonathan D’Souza, VP, North Goa.
“GFA will not insist on the club licensing criteria this season as many clubs were not in a position to adhere to the norms. There was a time delay and as such we have decided to take a lenient view this season. But teams that do not comply with the norms next year will have to pay the price as club licensing is going to be mandatory for any team wishing to participate in the second division of I-League," disclosed Jonathan.
All the players, managers and club officials sitting on match day benches will have to undergo a course to be conducted by the Integrity Officer of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to put a halt to match-fixing. The course is to be held before the start of the GPL,” announced Jonathan.
“Referees will also be asked to attend the course conducted by the AIFF Integrity officer,” Jonathan said later. He added, “The Executive Committee is in the process of short-listing a retired police officer from Goa to be appointed as GFA Integrity Officer."
The Goa Professional League was introduced in 1998, and Salgaocar FC has won the title on seven occasions and Dempo Sports Club, six times.