Now that the Hero Indian Super League Season two final has come to Goa, all that matters is for FC Goa to win it, fans of the team appear to be saying in one voice.
And you cannot get a more accomplished and celebrated fan than Brahmanand Sankhwalkar, once India’s ace goalkeeper and now FC Goa’s star fan.
“It’s very, very good news for the state of Goa. Goa is always contributing a lot towards football and getting to host a finale for the Hero ISL’s second season is like icing on the cake. I am looking forward to the matches and hope our team from Goa reaches the finals so that we are able to lift the Hero ISL cup,” an excited Sankhwalkar said.
Former Footballer and Arjuna award winner Bruno Coutinho echoed his thoughts.
“Im happy to know that Goa has been chosen as the venue for the Hero ISL finals. We love our football in Goa and it is perfect for all us Goans that we will be able to enjoy the finals in our very own Fatorda stadium”.
The hosting of the final game and the closing ceremony at Fatorda’s Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on December 20, is a prayer answered for FC Goa fans like Ponda-based Omkar Naik, who wanted to go to Mumbai to watch the final of the ISL’s inaugural edition last year.
“Wow. This news had made my day. Last year I wanted to go to Mumbai for the match but couldn’t make it. But this year I have a chance to see the final match live. I am really excited and don’t want to lose the chance. I want our home team FC Goa to win the cup in its hometown,” he says.
Football Sports Development Ltd. - the promoters of Indian Super League on Wednesday announced that the grand finale to the 2015 season will be held in the sunny, football-crazy state of Goa on December 20.
Mrs. Nita Ambani, Founder and Chairperson, FSDL in an official statement has said that a blend of football and Goa’s Christmas spirit would only help celebrate the ‘beautiful game’ on a much grander scale.
“We felt it would be apt to award the ISL 2015 finale to Goa as an ode to the state’s passion for football. The fun–loving, football–crazy Goa will be a perfect destination for Indian football’s greatest party. Indian Super League is delighted to offer an exciting blend of football and festive spirit in celebration of the beautiful game,” she said.
But Goa FC fans here appear to be making merry already, thanks to Nita Ambani’s announcement.
“It's amazing to hear about this! Goa is the land which echoes the love of football in more than one way and thus is a perfect place to end the ISL. With die hard football fans in attendance, the Hero ISL will have an adrenaline filled finale!” says Svetlana Pereira from Agassaim.
Clive Alvares believes that the move, as well as Goa playing host to some of the under-17 World Cup games, would drive more and more people to football grounds to watch football live.
“I feel more people will come to the stadium to watch the games. And there will be a lot of support,” he said.