Campal did not have a football ground after the Bandodkar football ground was demolished in 2004 to accommodate parking space for IFFI. A new ground was promised and after years of waiting, a completed new ground is set to be handed over by November 2023.
The new ground is envisaged as a parade and football ground.
“The ground was supposed to be handed over at the end of September but the contractors have asked for an extension till November,” Marcia Da Costa, project engineer with GSUDA told Gomantak Times Digital.
The old Bandodkar ground along river Mandovi accommodated six thousand five hundred spectators and the new one is designed for “ one thousand” according to Marcia.
The Bandodkar ground in Panjim, the Tilak maidan in Vasco and the MCC ground in Margao were the first grounds where Goa Football Association (GFA) matches were previously held before GFA built its own stadium in Duler and the government built the Nehru stadium in Fatorda.
From the three, the Bandodkar hosted the best matches and it was only after the construction of the stadiums in Mapusa and Fatorda that the ground in Campal started wearing furlong looks.
“GFA used to lease the ground for its matches from Panjim Gymkhana. The ground was part of land given to them by late Dayanand Bandodkar and GFA used to share a percentage of gate collection with them,” recollects a former member of GFA on condition of anonymity.
“Once, Vijaydevi Rane, wife of then Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane used the ground for some women festival and she was asked to pay by Gymkhana. After that, the Directorate of Sports took over the land,” adds the GFA member.
“The football pitch is ready. In fact, this November the pitch will be completing one year. It is just that work on the stands has got delayed and we are sure to complete the same by the end of October or early November,” stated Pandya, Director of Bakhia Constructions, the contractors entrusted to build the stadium.
“We are sure the ground can be inaugurated on Liberation day if the government intends to,” assured Pandya.
Apart from a FIFA football pitch, the new stadium provides space to park one hundred and sixty cars and one hundred and seventy five, two wheelers.
“Rs 28.85 crores has been spent on the construction of the stadium and pitch and once it is ready GSUDA will hand it over to TCP as the ground is theirs,” stated Marcia.
Construction work for the football stadium was delayed as the Town and country Planning (TCP) department had initial reservations of handing over the land. TCP conveyed its approval to GSUDA to utilise the land for development of football stadium-cum-parade ground with condition that the project should be handed over back to the department after completion, unconditionally.