The cup is most likely to replace Goa Police Cup as a season opener of the state football…

Goan football is set to witness a new football tournament in the month of September. AWES Cup 2017 will be organised by Association for the Well-being of Elder Sportspersons (AWES) in association with Dempo Sports Club and Goa Football Association.

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AWES is an organisation that has been recently formed to help many of sporting greats of yesteryears and honour their achievements and exploits in their respective sporting disciplines. Many of our sporting heroes today are neglected and feel forgotten and lead lonely lives. AWES’ main motto is to help the sporting heroes lead a life of dignity and feel cared for.

“When Marcus Megulhao was writing the book on Dempo and Salgaocar, he met many old players for information. We saw the sorry state that these former greats were living in. So someone with deep rooted in Goan and Indian football along with Marcus and a few more like minded people decided to start this organisation,” AWES Secretary Jonathan De Souza told Khel Now.

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He further added saying “Some of them need money for their medical needs and cannot afford it. From the generated funds from this tournament, we plan to help these players who are really in need and cannot afford it.”

This tourney will be the initiative to raise the funds for the Organisation and the proceeds of which will go mainly towards aiding these players, financially and medically, whenever required.

The cup will commence from 1st of September at Duler Football Stadium, compromising 12 teams, mainly from the state. While two outstation teams are also invited to participate. The 12 teams will be divided into four groups of three teams in each group. The four group winners will qualify for the semifinals. The finals will be played on 17th September.

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The Goa Professional teams like Dempo SC, Sporting Clube de Goa, Salgaocar FC, FC Bardez, Vasco SC, Calangute Association have already confirmed their participation. While, the state’s Indian Super League franchise FC Goa, the former I-League club ONGC and newly formed club from Kerala Gokulam FC have also confirmed their participation in the tournament. The organisers are yet to confirm more three teams for the competition, which will be done in the first week of August.

Whereas, the Goa Pro League is most likely to start soon after completion of the AWES Cup. The GFA had previously decided to start the state’s elite league after completion of FIFA U17 World Cup in the month of November but it is understood that in the recently held GPL club manager’s meeting the same was revoked by the club representatives and instead decided not to hold any matches on the match day of FIFA U17 World Cup in Goa.

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GFA has also decided to invite Panjim Footballers, who finished behind Penha de France in the GFA First Division League to participate in the GPL following a withdrawal decision from Penha de France due to financial constraints. However, 12th team participation is still uncertain as GFA has stuck to their previous decision to maintain the terms of participation fee of Rs. 30 lacs and a deposit of Rs. 20 lacs as fixed.

“After Penha de Franca decision to withdraw from the Goa Pro League, we have decided to invite Panjim Footballers who finished behind them. And the Executive committee has decided to maintain the participation fee of Rs. 30 lacs and a deposit of Rs. 20 lacs as fixed for the inclusion of the 12th team into the Goa Professional League.” GFA President Elvis Gomes said.