Goa Sports Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar has said the Indian Super League will be held in the coastal state as per the standard operating procedures and guidelines of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Goa government will also try to boost tourism in the state by hosting the Indian Super League (ISL), Ajgaonkar told reporters on Sunday. All matches of the seventh edition of ISL will be held at three venues in Goa, likely in November, amid strict health and safety measures to deal with the COVID-19 threat, the organisers said on Sunday.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at Fatorda in Margao, the Tilak Nagar Stadium at Vasco da Gama and the GMC Athletic Stadium at Bambolim are the venues slated to host the matches. Ajgaonkar said the Goa government is happy to host ISL in the state. "We have already given permission for the ISL games in Goa," he said, adding that all SOPs will be followed along with guidelines of the MHA.
"Football is our state game and through it, we will be pushing for tourism, said Ajgaonkar, who also holds charge of the tourism department in the Pramod Sawant-led government. He said nearly 500 rooms in various hotels would be booked for the event, which will provide business to the tourism stakeholders. The matches will be held without the presence of spectators at the venues, the minister said. "But, if we manage to find any solution for COVID-19, then we might even allow spectators," he added.