KOCHI: Savio Medeira prefers to keep a low profile, but the Goan has been a towering figure in Indian football since his playing days and then as the national team’s coach. He is still very active in Indian football, holding key positions in the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
In the football-crazy Goa, Savio is a very popular figure thanks to his exploits with Salgaocar FC and then for guiding India to the SAFF Cup in 2011 as the head coach. As the second wave of Covid- 19 has hit the nation hard, the 56-year-old felt that he needed to do his bit and hopes that anyone who is in a situation to help should do so as well.
“You never know when you will be the one needing the help. Even a small help can go a long way,” he says. Savio recently came forward to offer his help to the Goa Sikh Youth Community Kitchen, which is involved with Covid relief work as it has been providing free meals near the Goa Medical College, the biggest government hospital in the region.
“To feed 500-600 people in a day, it is quite a big number. When I came to know about it, I wondered why I can’t be a part of it. So I decided to support this cause with whatever financial aid I could provide,” said Savio.
The former midfielder’s aide has helped in sustaining the supply of groceries and other essentials for GSYCK. Initially, he didn’t want to draw attention to himself but he realised that being a wellknown personality, especially in Goa, this could spread an important message.
“That’s the advantage in terms of using our voice as sportspersons to act as a motivation. And I urge others from the footballing fraternity, and even those who are financially well-off, to do their bit to help. Any gesture of help would keep the society moving,” he said. Currently donning the role of Head of Coach Education at AIFF, he is also trying to look out for all the football coaches across the country with no competitive action going on at the moment.
“The best thing that we can do for the coaches is to try to do virtual meetings to keep them refreshed. The academies have stopped, the coaches are out of action and no money is coming in. We want to keep the coaches motivated and we are also trying to start with the revalidation of licences,” he said.
The former AIFF technical director also expressed his happiness that many footballers are coming forward with help in the country’s fight against Covid.
“Whatever we are today, it is because of the game. And I don’t think there’s a better way to try and give back than by helping those who are suffering. Any initiative taken to help anybody is great,” said Savio.