Football is a popular sport in Goa and is embedded in Goan culture. Its origins in the state are traced back to 1883 when the visiting Irish priest Fr. William Robert Lyons established the sport as part of a "Christian education". On 22 December 1959, the Associação de Futebol de Goa was formed, which continues to administer the game in the state under the new name, Goa Football Association. Goa, along with West Bengal and Kerala. is the locus of football in the country and is home to many football clubs in India's I-League. The state's football powerhouses include Salgaocar, Dempo, Churchill Brothers, Vasco Sports Club and Sporting Clube de Goa. The state's main football stadium, Fatorda (or Nehru stadium), is located at Margao and also hosts cricket matches. A number of Goans have represented India in football, and four of them, namely Samir Naik, Climax Lawrence (both players at Dempo SC ), Brahmanand Sankhwalkar, Bruno Coutinho, Mauricio Afonso, and Roberto Fernandes have all captained the national team at one time or another. Goa also has its own state football league. The biggest peak of the league is Goa pro league which is sponsored by Kingfishers. It is probably the only state in India where cricket is not considered as important as any other sports.
Goa has its own cricket team. Dilip Sardesai remains the only Goan to date to play international cricket for India.For more details on this topic, see Goans in sports.
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