Saturday ended on a rather caliginous note but there were a few of us who had hope that there would be tickets on Sunday. Personally, I had lost all hope of acquiring tickets especially after the cops on duty at Campal openly stated that the ticket counter would be closed on Sunday. My head was reeling with questions. Where were all the tickets? Who took them? What happened to them? 19,000 tickets, only 50% were “supposed” to be out on sale. Who do we question? Who is the brain behind Goans being deprived of watching a sport they are passionate about? How can this possibly be fair? From the hike of the tickets to the unavailability all I could see everywhere was “Amchi Goa!” (Our Goa) indeed… but whose team is this? Definitely not the Goans because we are being deprived of watching the match.
There were lengthy discussions and debates all over the popular social media sites, everyone speculating about why there were no tickets. All of Saturday passed by with us mulling over not getting tickets. My husband, our friends and I considered going to the Campal Stadium early and standing in line. As if five and a half hours on Saturday, withering away in the sweltering heat was not enough. We finally decided against it.
A few brave friends decided to give waiting in queues another try. Relying on updates I waited with bated breath hoping against hope that there would be something positive. My friends waited patiently only to reconfirm that the ticket counter did not open. Frustration took over and they wrecked a police car.
However, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (known as Fatorda Stadium) had an entirely different scenes. One of my friends went to the stadium at 4 a.m. There were people who had been there since midnight eagerly waiting for the ticket counter to open. They were in luck! The ticket counter did open but not for long. The crowd went beserk. They set the counter on fire. After waiting in line on Saturday, returning on Sunday, it was overwhelming to be faced with disappointment. I spoke to a few people who stayed the night outside the stadiums. More than being angry it was the disappointment.
The cherry on the pie was the sponsors of FC Goa promising parallel screenings for the North and South so disappointed fans can watch the game “live”. This is a clear mockery of our intelligence. Why would we want to watch a match being played in Goa, on a screen instead of at the stadium?
I am an ardent football fan considering my family owned one of the Goan football teams. I was raised watching football. Calcutta has always been a second home to me and to not watch this match where my “teams” are at loggerheads is just preposterous! Who do we approach to rectify this? Who do we talk to? What measures do we resort to in order to be heard? The sponsors claim they heard our complaints but are they actually listening? A screening? Really? How is that supposed to help when the main issue is the “disappearance” of the tickets?
On Saturday, one of my friends met someone who works for the Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) and she said she took tickets before the counter opened. This was an hour and a half before the counter did open. How fair is this? There were others who did the same thing. Tickets were “taken” before the opening of the counter. Now this is a perfectly good reason to get worked up. After standing in the heat for five and a half hours, listening to theories about where the bulk of the tickets are was infuriating. Cops openly giving their “theories” which happened to be closest to the truth. The worst part is knowing that we cannot do a thing about it. Raising voices, resorting to violence, this is history repeating itself. No one gives a hoot and even in the future events, we will face the same thing and recall all past incidents like what happened at Lusofonia games.
It is indeed disheartening not to be there to watch your team considering they rose from the tail end to the head. Why should the fans suffer considering most of us were there for all the home games standing by the team through their losses and cheering them on to victory. It’s the fans who make a club. These actions clearly prove that FC Goa has no regard for their following.
I wanted to blog earlier but I thought I would wait for a while in case there was a change in this ticketless scenario. People are successfully selling tickets in black at ridiculous amounts. There were a bunch of college students who sold their tickets in black, in front of the cops on duty. Nothing was done about it.
So here’s another epic failure for us to be proud of. Go FC Goa… football without your fans……… we’ll all be divided at the North and South screenings so lovingly arranged by your sponsors because they “heard” not “listened” to our complaints!
1.30 a.m. outside Indoor Stadium, Campal. Pic Courtesy Akshay.
4 a.m. outside Fatorda Stadium. Pic by Hanson Fernandes.
The crowd gathered outside Fatorda Stadium.
As the day progressed the mob grew bigger.
People set the ticket counter on fire just outside the Fatorda Stadium.
Screenshot of FC Goa’s promise for screenings in the North and South.
I questioned them on instagram and of course there has been no reply. What could they possibly reply to the questions I raised?
The screenshots were taken at 4 a.m. on Sunday. The pics are all from early morning to midday on Sunday.