|Panaji, Aug 7: Goa's BJP government has begun the process of cancelling the controversial lease of a playground given to the Churchill Brothers football club run by two Congress leaders.
In a written reply tabled today during the monsoon session of the Goa assembly, sports minister Ramesh Tawadkar said the cancellation process was on.
"The lease deed is in the process of being cancelled at the level of sub-registrar, Margao, for which necessary procedure is in progress," Tawadkar said.
The ground in Cana Benaulim, around 40 km from here, was controversially leased to the Churchill Brothers Sports Club without the consent of the state cabinet in 2010.
The allotment of the 33-year lease was made by Manohar Azgaonkar, then sports minister in the previous Congress-led coalition government.
Siblings Churchill Alemao, the main patron of club, and Joaquim Alemao, a trustee, were both cabinet ministers in that government.
According to Azgaonkar, the government village school playground was leased to the club in order to "enable them to set up an A-class stadium and other structures incidental and ancillary thereto as per the clubs licensing criteria laid down by All India Football Federation to all clubs participating in the I-League".
BJP, which was the main opposition party then, had alleged fraud in the allotment process, claiming proper procedures, including a cabinet decision, were not followed for the one-off allotment of the ground to the team.
Apart from Churchill Brothers, Goa has several top flight football teams. They are Dempo Sports Club and Salgaonkar Sports Club. However, none of the teams own a football ground. (IANS)