ISL: Preparations disrupted by protests from GPCC

The seventh edition of the Indian Super League (ISL 2020/21) scheduled to begin in Goa on November 20 has already run into trouble. The Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) has threatened to halt preparations for the tournament, alleging that local vendors have not been offered any logistical contracts and all the work has been outsourced.

The development comes days after Goa Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant was forced to intervene to solve a conflict between local transport operators and ISL organizers. The local transport operators threatened legal action against the ISL for using other State vehicles for transportation within Goa.

The GPCC vice president Sankalp Amonkar claimed in an interview that; the association of bus owners did not get any contracts this year from the ISL. Instead of providing contracts to locals, vehicles from other states were used. Similarly, the power generator vendors did not get any contract for this season.

The games in Goa during the previous ISL campaign had logistics distributed amongst the local vendors. However, the 2020/21 campaign is set to take place in one location, so there is likely to be a change in logistic policy.

All the production equipment has been completely outsourced from other states. Considering the effects of the pandemic on local businesses, ISL had been a good opportunity for them to make up for losses.

Sankalp Amonkar stated that they are upset with the government rather than the ISL organizers. He said, “We don’t have any issues with the organizers of the ISL. We just want the Goan people to gain some benefit from the tournament. People have suffered because of the pandemic and now when games are being held here, the locals must benefit.”

Amonkar also pointed out that Goa’s Sports Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar had failed to live up with promises of giving local businesses more opportunities during ISL.

The teams are currently playing pre-season matches as they prepare for the start of the tournament. The entire season will be played in Goa behind closed doors. All matches will be held across three stadiums – the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the GMC Athletic Stadium, and the Tilak Maidan Stadium.

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