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3465GBA State Championships attract a record participation of 29 teams - Fr Ralin speaks to NT

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  • Sandeep Heble
    Sep 27, 2013
      GBA State Championships attract a record participation of 29 teams

      GBA has BFI backing to be official body: Fr Ralin

      Goa Basketball Association (GBA) president, Fr Ralin De Souza.

      The factional feud in Goan basketball is presently on. The two warring
      factions namely the Goa Basketball Association (GBA) and the new body,
      Association of Goan Basketball (AGB) are trying their best to set
      their foothold firmly on the Goan scene in their endeavour to take
      control of the sport of basketball. The GBA has remained the parent
      body for over past four decades but has been laying dormant, in-active
      or as some term it as defunct. Having risen back to power following
      its recent elections, the GBA continues to enjoy the backing of the
      national body- Basketball Federation of India (BFI)- with Fr Ralin De
      Sousa, the Director of Don Bosco Oratory,Panaji, being at the helm of
      affairs now following the September 1 elections.

      Yes, there have been glaring lapses for the past some many years on
      the part of GBA as far as renewing its registration with the Registrar
      of Societies, restoring its affiliations with the Goa Olympic
      Association (GOA) and Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) and also towards
      matters related to submitting audited statements of Accounts and
      Minutes and details of AGMs held in the past; compelling the rivals to
      raise serious questions about GBA’s right to exist as a functional
      body after its late president C F Vaz and secretary Shekar Jain were
      both accused of misusing powers and misguiding the state basketballers
      through blatant violation of norms and regulations and treating GBA as
      their own fiefdom.

      But Fr Ralin is firm that the issue as to which body is official and
      has the right to run the basketball affairs in the state is very clear
      after the BFI approved of the GBA elections and has already given his
      committee the go-ahead as the “recognised” body to govern state

      In a freewheeling interview with Sudhakar Shanbhag of The Navhind
      Times, Fr Ralin comes out loud and clear on why GBA continues to be
      the recognised body for basketball in Goa and has the full backing of
      the BFI.


      We know GBA has conducted elections on Sept 1, 2013 but the rival
      faction AGB is also clear on its claims that it has already registered
      with the Registrar of Societies and obtained affiliation from GOA. How
      do you react to it?

      Let’s not go back into the past. The moment demands that certain
      things need to be rectified and the sport revived for the betterment
      of basketball in Goa. The elections were held in presence of BFI and
      GOA observers and all details of the events that led to the elections
      were intimated to BFI a month in advance and subsequently the BFI had
      informed SAG and GOA. Undoubtedly, GBA continues to be the official
      body which governs basketball in Goa as elections were held in a fair
      and transparent manner.

      With the absence of registered Club system in basketball in Goa, who
      are supposed to have voting rights in GBA and what is the procedure to
      nominate for a particular post? When are you amending the constitution
      to have Clubs/Units given the voting rights?

      In fact, only permanent members - the founder members and the honorary
      permanent members - possess voting rights. But we now believe that
      voting rights should not be restricted to only individuals, as
      basketball is a team sport and not an individual sport. Presently we
      have only three clubs – Margao Basketeers, Alien Basketeers and Don
      Bosco Oratory – who are registered. GBA hopes for more clubs to be
      registered and promote more teams and not individuals. Therefore, we
      strongly believe, over a period certain amendments need to be made to
      the constitution to force the necessary changes.

      As GBA president, do you foresee the need to put an end to
      factionalism at the earliest and force a GBA-AGB merger in the lager
      interest of the sport?

      I feel the present situation of GBA and AGB warring against each other
      is not an ideal one. We always believed in reviving the sport of
      basketball through GBA in spite of there being problems in the past.
      Members on both sides did meet and agree on the process of revival,
      but the compromise formula proposed by some of the AGB members where
      even GBA members like myself and others were part of the process to
      boost Goan basketball couldn’t agree on terms which could not be
      termed in the real sense as compromise. That led to dissension and
      those who were originally a part of AGB moved out and decided to
      revive the GBA through election process. BFI backed the move.

      We learn that a few of you were prominent AGB members prior to GBA
      elections, so are you still part of AGB or you have tendered your

      The passing away of our president C F Vaz earlier in June triggered a
      series of changes. In fact, we never discussed about GBA and AGB as
      the idea after Vaz’s death was to steer Goan basketball to safer
      shores after all the turmoil it encountered over the years. In fact,
      it was AGB who had given me the mandate to hold talks with the past
      secretary Shekar Jain to initiate the revival process. But when the
      issue of discussing AGB constitution arose, we were presented the
      constitution of Fencing Association, with he word fencing appearing in
      one of the clause. And this meant that the AGB was referring to an
      individual sport’s constitution. This seemed unacceptable, hence the

      The GBA has already declared its state championships from Sept 28 to
      Oct 4, while the AGB has warned the Lusofonia probables to refrain
      from participation in non-AGB events. How do you react to it?

      GBA has every right to conduct the state championships. We have never
      stopped the Lusofonia probables from participating in GBA events. All
      are welcome. In fact, the state championships have evinced a record
      response. 22 men teams and 7 women teams have already submitted
      entries. Colleges, clubs have also responded overwhelmingly. Besides,
      the selections are very important as after the state championships GBA
      will shortlist the probables for the BFI’s National Championships
      which are slated from Nov 27 to Dec 3, 2013. Hence we decided to
      conduct the event as the selections will be held in October itself.

      Coming back to registration and affiliations, does GBA continue to be
      registered with Registrar of Societies and has GOA granted affiliation
      to GBA? Will SAG back GBA in the state events in terms of financial
      and technical help?

      We are already in the process of submitting various documents related
      to registration as there had been a pretty long lapse. Our
      registration with the Registrar of Societies will be completed in
      mid-October and there are certain other submissions to be made to SAG.
      I have already spoken to the executive director of SAG and he has
      promised all the help. As far as GOA affiliation and support from SAG
      is concerned, the GBA believes that GOA affiliation is not that
      important right now and any SAG support in any form is most welcome.
      We have BFI's backing.