3465GBA State Championships attract a record participation of 29 teams - Fr Ralin speaks to NT
- Sep 27, 2013GBA 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
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.