Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar will release the maiden football policy of the state, a first of its kind that will delineate a structured approach towards Goa's culture and help develop a football-based ecosystem. Taking note of the fact that football is hugely popular all over the state, the Chief Minister announced last year that football would be the official sport of the state of Goa.
The inaugural 'Goa International Football Table' (GIFT) will also lay the foundation to initiate vital dialogue on the importance of football in relation to the socio-economic development of Goa. Government officers, officials of football federations, clubs, players and coaches, members of the media, sponsors, brands and sports investors will attend the event.
Speaking about the Goa International Football Table, Dr. Rufino Monteiro, Chairman of the Goa Football Development Council, said, "Indian players possess immense talent, which needs to be nurtured in the right manner for them to shine. The inaugural Goa International Football Table is – for this reason – an important part of GFDC's multiple steps to channelize talent with the available infrastructure, facilities in the country and across the globe. The conference will be a landmark event in Goa and herald the beginning of a brand new journey in the development of football in India."
Elvis Gomes, Executive Director of the Sports Authority of Goa, Vice-President of the Goa Football Association, and Member Secretary of the Goa Football Development Council, said, "Over the years, Goa has been synonymous with good quality, skilled football. Through the Goa International Football Table, we are here to take it a step forward to help develop the game and present players across India multiple opportunities to excel. We are confident that the event will play a crucial role in altering the course of the game for its stakeholders."
The theme for the 2013 conference will be 'Home Grown Heroes', and eminent speakers from across the world representing different organizations in the global sports industry will deliberate India's pending emergence on the global footballing platform. GIFT will create a annual framework and an environment for investment in the sport, networking within the community and create a interface for the stakeholders. Discussions on topics ranging from talent, community development, competitions and infrastructure creation to professionalising the sport and marketing will be organized.
The 'GIFT Awards' will endeavour to honour and recognize young achievers in Goan football along with current and past players for life time achievement, players with promise, referee of the year, administrator of the year, and coach of the year awards. The winners will receive prize money and a trophy. GIFT intends to create corporate interest in the state to help support initiatives that facilitate the overall growth of football. It will also attract investment towards developing the sport at the grassroots and make Goa a football powerhouse and role model state in India.
The first edition of GIFT has received tremendous support from knowledge partner TransStadia, and will be promoted by football magazine 90 minutes along with online partner Sportskeeda.