PANAJI: Stating that the state government is actively promoting football through various programmes and initiatives, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that Goa is the only state in the country to have special government-run centres for training young children at the grassroots level. These centres are run by Goa Football Development Council (GFDC). The council recently celebrated its 10th anniversary of inception. Speaking at the logo launch of the U-17 Women’s World Cup that will be held in Goa, Sawant said that budding footballers get an opportunity to play the sport at GFDC’s centres. “The Goa government has been striving to promote football through various initiatives. From Valpoi to Canacona, Goa Football Development Council operates more than 30 centres where young children are being trained to play football. No other state in the country has such a programme where the state government is running centres to train young children. The credit goes to late chief minister Manohar Parrikar who launched GFDC with the aim of creating a passion and craze among young children so that they get an opportunity to play. The intention was to identify talent in the villages so that they children go on to present the state and country,” he said. The chief minister also congratulated former India goalkeeper Brahmanand Shankwalkar, who is currently the GFDC chairman, and other eminent football personalities who have made the state proud at the national level.